NO MORE THAN AN ANECDOTE
Sometimes the blind see better than the rest of us.
Tonight, a few pews in front of me, a woman began to lead her companion out of the row. As they turned, it became clear to me that the man was blind.
He hadn't been born that way. How did I know this? Because he fumbled his way and relied on the woman for his navigation. He trusted her, and she led him out of the pew so that he traced every inch of the wood with his fingers in the loop of her arm.
How beautiful that woman was! About fifty something. She had black hair which waved over her shoulders and eyes drawn out at the sides by the sun but not in a way that aged her, only in a way that made me jealous of her ancestry. The man proceeded to be led to his intended destination, and then the couple tumbled their ways through a pew behind, so that I wondered why they were making their journey. His eyes were open, but he saw nothing. Or everything.
It then became clear. The man wanted to confess. He wanted to receive the eucharist that was being manifested in front of us all, but in order to receive it, he had to have 'acknowledged' his sin(s). The man continued to walk inch by inch towards the confessional from memory, and now the woman helped him to reach the booth, where a priest was sitting in the centre, waiting.
The gesture of this blind man really moved me. Similarly, the aid of the woman, who I assumed was his wife reduced me to tears so that my own vision became clearer and glossier. In the midst of the prayers, the ritual and the crowds, this man who could no longer see making his giant journey of only a few meters to the priest was my evening's miracle and lesson.