Tag Archives: blindness

Guide Dog Tale: Walking Without Sight

Walking Without Sight

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Iva came to a stop, but I didn’t know why. I stretched out my hand in front of me. I didn’t have to reach far before I discovered the cold, metal pole. Another step or two and my face would have painfully made contact with it. “Good job, Iva!” I praised smiling big, while Iva gobbled up her treat.

We left Walmart and headed across the parking lot to the strip mall. Parking lots are not the best place for blind people to navigate. We crossed from the sidewalk to a grassy area surrounded with curbing. From there, we could cross another short distance to our desired destination.

I carefully listened for cars. Of course, you never get a silent moment in a busy parking area.

“Iva, forward.” I commanded, but Iva refused to budge. Just then, I heard a car slowly pass us. Iva practiced intelligent disobedience by refusing to obey me because of the oncoming vehicle. Guide dogs are trained to disobey our commands if they see potential danger we cannot see.

Walking without sight is walking by faith. Whether I walk with my white cane or Iva, I trust God for my next step. I trust Iva not to walk me into something. I don’t tiptoe through Walmart, hand extended, waiting to bump into something. A cloud of fear doesn’t follow me wondering where my foot will land. I can’t see my next step, but I take it in faith, full steam ahead.

Many Christians think they walk by faith, but they really walk by sight. Walking by faith gives the money to the needy without knowing how they will manage. Walking by sight waits to see if God will provide before they give. Walking by faith believes God will heal. Walking by sight says God can heal. Do you see the difference?

Walking by faith proceeds with God’s calling on someone’s life, trusting God to provide. Walking by sight waits to see how it’s going to work first.

My visual impairment has taught me valuable faith lessons. Understanding what it means to physically walk by faith helped me spiritually walk by faith.

Faith is complete unhindered and uninhibited trust in God. It is an action, not only something you believe. Faith walks as well as talks. Faith steps out, not knowing the next step, but knowing God knows.

Friend, are you walking by faith, or are you walking by sight? Don’t be too hard on yourself if you honestly admit you have depended on sight more than faith. Even the twelve apostles were part of the “O ye of little faith” group. Begin to lean on faith more without depending on sight at all.

Now that you know the difference, commit to trust God. Nothing will be impossible when you put feet behind your faith.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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Guide Dog Tales Vol. 29

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 29

By Carolyn Dale Newell

It is surprising how people offer assistance when I walk with Iva more than when I walked with a white cane. I needed more help as a cane user than a guide dog handler.

On our drive to the beach, we stopped at Cracker Barrell, one of our favorite restaurants. Iva rested quietly under our table. One year ago, to the day, (October 8) Iva and I graduated from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Her table manners are remarkable. I recall how much she moved around during meals at school. Plus, she had a taste for the chairs. I covered that in prayer, and God answered.

I finished my salad, so Iva and I headed towards the restrooms. Iva looked for an opening to turn left as I commanded her. Skreetchingg witches, autumn displays, and customers obstructed the aisles.

Joy, the hostess, approached us, inquiring about Iva. Joy’s love for dogs shone like the mid-day sun.

She offered to escort us to the lady’s room as the crowd thickened. I have never been so grateful because she warned us about a puddle of water the toilet splashed out in the handicap stall. Iva prefers it. I coaxed Iva into a smaller one, and Joy waited for us. Joy noted how Iva watches and protects me as she walked us to the door leading outside. She chatted a few minutes. I assured her we were fine waiting for my husband. Joy slipped inside, but she returned shortly to check on us.

We never require that amount of aid, but I could not deny her. I thought of all the times I have wished someone would help. Finding someone willing to go the distance like that is rare. I prefer it to the folks who walk right by thinking I see nothing. Yes, I see some of them.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) like joy. Kindness costs us nothing. A smile to a stranger. A friendly greeting to someone at the check-out. A hug to the lonely lady at church. A few encouraging words to the cancer survivor. The hand supporting the gentleman unsteady on his feet. The arm that leads the blind.

Kindness appears to be minimal, and we forget to offer it. Our busy schedules restrain us from the few minutes that mean the world to someone else. Sacrificial moments enable us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Who can you be kind to today?