Once upon a time, there was a young man called Blind Bill. He was short and chubby, with dark curly hair that hung down to his nose. He wore jeans and a faded green t-shirt with a tear on the sleeve. His eyes were closed because he was blind.
Day after day he sat slumped in a blue armchair by the woodstove in his gloomy cottage. Outside, the wind pried at the windows and rattled the door. He kept a fire going but he always felt cold.
Mrs. Johnson, a gruff old Yankee who lived next door, brought him two hot meals every day. For breakfast, he made himself oatmeal sweetened with raisins.
One day, Mrs. Johnson knocked on the door and came right in, as she always did. She carried a steaming dinner basket that smelled like fried chicken and maple-baked beans. She put down it down on the kitchen table, pulled something else from her bag, and carried it over to where he sat. She held it as she stood a moment looking down at him.
“Hi, Mrs. Johnson,” Blind Bill finally said in a dull voice. “Thank you for supper.”
“Billy boy, what are you doing?” said she.
“Are you happy?”
“Can’t say as I am.”
“Bill, what do you really want?”
Well, he had been thinking about this recently so he ticked them off on three fingers:
“I want to have adventure. I want to know what’s real. I want to feel alive.”
“Well then, child, you need this.” She handed him something fairly heavy.
“What is it?”
“It’s a letter.”
“Feels like a book,” he said.
“It’s a very long letter. So long, it is bound up like a book.”
“It would take a lifetime to read this!”
“It’ll give you a life.”
“But I’m blind, Mrs. Johnson! I can’t read it.”
“Open the book,” she said.
“But I can’t—”
“Just open the book,” she said, as she patted his face affectionately and left. And then he was alone.
He idly flipped it open and found to his surprise there was a dim light on the page. He could see enough to read some of the words. It only happened when the book was open, though, so all day long he kept picking up the letter to read a little. Day after day he was able to read some, but it was tough going. After a while he found his eyes got red and swollen and leaked tears.
One morning he woke and opened his eyes. He could see! His room was bathed in sunlight that came in through the windows. He jumped out of bed and his heart beat fast in astonishment. He picked up the book from his bedside table and opened it. He read what was on the page. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me.”
Suddenly a gust of wind blew open the door and flipped the pages. Sunlight fell on the words, “I will instruct you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
Again the gust, again the pages moved, and now the golden letters said: “Come, follow Me.”
So, he got dressed and with the book under his arm he left his kitchen and strode out the door. He walked out to the dirt lane, where he looked left, and he looked right, and he looked left again. Then he heard a voice behind him, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
So he turned toward the morning sun and began to walk.
I love it, and I look forward to reading your future Blind Bill posts.
I’m so glad! Let’s see where he goes and what happens, shall we? It is a journey for me too.