Yesterday our Sunday School lesson was about Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus because he believed. I invited Sue, a blind lady who attends our church regularly with her husband, daughter and her guide dog, Ty. She is an attorney, has taught classes on the college level and is looking forward to being a professor at Ursuline College. This woman is amazing! She has no bitterness toward God for her blindness and shared with the boys openly and easily.
She even let them take turns using her cane to go through an obstacle course of
chairs with their eyes closed. She emphasized that is is very important to be able to trust the person (or dog) leading her. Although she didn't have her dog with her, she said she'd stop by again next week with him and bring along some Braille cards the boys can try to read. She has a Braille writer and a computer that talks to her which is a help.
She said when she was a kid, she got childhood arthritis which led to her becoming blind at an early age. She said the kids were nice to her and her friends were helpful and stuck up for her if anyone did pick on her. She says she has a good life, but of course would prefer to be able to see.
She also shared a little about how scary it was to adjust to having a guide dog lead her along when she first got one. She shared how the dogs go through extensive training and only about half the dogs pass the test. Many of the shepherds don't pass, but then are trained to be drug sniffers instead. One of the boys seemed especially interested in hearing about her dog because they were learning about guide dogs in school. He was excited to be able to actually speak with a blind person and looks forward to meeting her dog next week.
I am ashamed to admit that until I wanted to ask Sue to come and speak to my class, I didn't even know her name, yet I knew her dog's name.