“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” —Isaiah 42:16 (niv)
Janet Eckles, a fellow Latina and author, invited my family and me to her home. I’d been looking forward to meeting her after hearing about her book Simply Salsa. After losing her sight, struggling in her marriage, and grieving the murder of her teenage son, she began writing to encourage others in their own struggles.
She was every bit the radiant and energetic spirit I imagined. Meeting her was inspiring and exciting, but I was mortified when my father spoke about his fear of going blind. He’d had an optical stroke that blinded his left eye and later had cataracts removed in his right one. “I don’t know what I’d do if I ever went completely blind,” he said. “I don’t think I could handle that!”
Janet grabbed his hand and said with a laugh, “Are you kidding me? Going blind is the best thing that ever happened to me! I learned to appreciate things I had taken for granted before. It led me to a new and exciting career, and I discovered things I could do in spite of my blindness and found adventure in that.”
Father wasn’t trying to offend, and Janet wasn’t at all insulted. Instead, she assured my father and reminded all of us that we can find joy and purpose in whatever circumstances come our way.
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