What I Couldn’t See


Blindness limited Victor’s vision even more than this photo limits yours. But it didn’t limit Victor himself. I was the one who didn’t see clearly.

I had a friend in the fourth grade named Victor. I’d sometimes spend the night at his house, but it was different than at other friend’s homes. Victor had not only learned to love himself, but he had learned to love others.

I remember one time when we were at both ends of a flight of stairs in his house playing catch with a soft ball. He was at the top, and I was at the bottom. I would have to tell him when I was going to throw the ball to him and where it was going. My friend Victor was blind.

We played for quite some time, laughing and having a lot of fun. The ball would hit him in the head or the shoulder, and we’d laugh and laugh. Once I said, “Okay, it’s coming right now.” Both his hands flew out just at the right time, and he caught the ball. We were both so excited, we just couldn’t believe it.

Time went by, and for a while we had a lot of our classes together. But they became fewer. By the time we reached junior high school, I didn’t see him very much because he was in special classes.

Then student body elections came up, and Victor wanted to run for president. The day came when everyone who was trying for an office gave speeches. It was finally Victor’s turn. This was his chance, and I hoped so much he would make it. A woman whispered something in his ear. Was it a vote of confidence or directions on how to get to the podium?

Victor finished his speech and walked back to his chair. The crowd cheered for him so loudly it nearly knocked him over. He didn’t promise world peace or anything. He just spoke with great confidence. A few days later, the election results were announced. Victor had won! I was so happy I cried for him.

Sometimes I would go home at night and ask Heavenly Father if he would let Victor have my eyes, if only for one day, just so my great friend, our president, could walk down the halls at school without getting smashed into and knocked around. But I guess Heavenly Father knew Victor was doing all right because Victor never once let his blindness stop him.

As a member of the Church, I have sometimes let the things I can see get in the way. I’ve let them stop me from doing what I should do. Victor taught me this great principle: It’s not the things you look at in life—it’s your attitude, or how you look at them, that counts. I was so blind that Heavenly Father had a blind friend teach me to see.

[photo] Photography by Peggy Jellinghausen