Seeing God’s Gifts

By Debbonnaire Kovacs

Michael Arthur Patterson leaned against the window, listening to the hiss and patter of raindrops. Usually he liked the sound of the rain, but it had been raining all week, and he was sick of it. Besides, he was feeling sad today.

“What’s the matter, Mike?” Dad asked, coming up behind him.

“Nothing,” Mike answered glumly.

“Oh-oh, it’s that nothing again. That’s the worst! I hate it when nothing is wrong with me! No wonder you’re frowning like a thundercloud!”

Mike knew Dad was trying to make him laugh. Most of the time it worked, but not today.

“Come on, son. Can’t you tell me what’s bothering you?” Dad put his arm around Mike’s shoulders.

Mike leaned against Dad but didn’t say anything. A long time ago he had made a decision not to complain about being blind. There was nothing anyone could do about it, and complaining only made Dad and Aunt Rose sad—not to mention himself! Mike had learned to cope very well. When Jesus came, he would see, and he thought it was wonderful that the first thing he would ever see would be Jesus’ face. But every once in a while, something came up that made him really hate being blind. This week, it was the Sabbath School lesson! He couldn’t very well tell Dad that, could he?

“I’ll be fine,” he mumbled into Dad’s chest.

The bell on the front door tinkled, and he felt Dad turn to see who was there. Mike had to wait until the person spoke. Today he even felt cross about that.

“Hi, Kenya! How’s it going? Haven’t seen you in a while,” Dad said cheerfully.

Mike wished people would quit talking about seeing each other all the time. He didn’t even know what Kenya looked like!

“Hi, Mr. Patterson. I’m fine, thank you. Hey, Mike. Want to go for a walk? The rain finally stopped!”

Mike kept his face turned away and tried to sound polite. “No, thanks.” He listened and realized he’d been so busy feeling sorry for himself he hadn’t even missed the hissing and pattering.

“Why not?” Kenya came closer. “What’s the matter, are you feeling sick?”

The phone rang, and Dad went to answer it.

“No, I’m not sick, just cross. I wouldn’t be very good company,” Mike answered.

“Well, then you really need a walk!” Kenya informed him firmly.

Nothing he could say would convince her otherwise. She even brought his jacket over to him. Mike finally put it on and went out with her just to make her quit bugging him.

She put her arm through his, and he scowled. He hated being led around like a baby. Why couldn’t he walk alone like everybody else?

“Come on, Mike, what’s the matter?” Kenya asked.

He didn’t answer, so Kenya said, “Well, if you don’t want to talk about it, I won’t bug you.” And she began a running commentary on everything they passed. Kenya could be really funny, even about ordinary things. Mike’s bad spirits began to lift, especially when he felt the warm spring sunshine on his face.

Then Kenya jerked to a stop so fast he almost lost his balance. “Oh, wow!” she breathed. “Would you look at that!”

Mike’s frustration returned in one big wave. Sure, he’d “look at that!” What was she thinking?

“Oh, sorry!” Kenya’s voice was still full of awe. “It’s just the most beautiful rainbow you ever saw, that’s all!”

Mike couldn’t believe it. A rainbow! Today! Why today of all days? He felt tears come to his eyes, and he blinked fast to keep them back.

“Oh, Mike, that’s awful! You’ve never seen a rainbow, have you? And I can’t even tell you what it’s like, because it’s just colored light!”

Mike looked away, still blinking rapidly. “It’s OK. Nothing you can do about it. It’s just that—every day this week, when I study the memory verse . . .” His voice trailed away unhappily.

Kenya took a deep breath. “Well, let’s think about this,” she said.

Mike recognized Kenya’s fix-it voice. Usually, he’d smile. Kenya always thought she could fix everything. Well, she couldn’t fix this.

“The memory verse says that the rainbow is a sign of God’s love and care for us, right? Well, then, what are some signs of His love and care that you don’t have to see? Look out, because I’m shutting my eyes. I’ll be the blind leading the blind.” Kenya giggled and Mike almost smiled.

He heard her sniff. “I can smell the rain. That’s a sign, isn’t it? Noah and his family must have been scared to death the first time they saw the rain, but we don’t have to be, because God said He’ll never flood the earth again. Your turn.”

Mike didn’t feel much like saying anything, but he lifted his head. “I can feel the sunshine on my face. That’s nice, especially after a week of rain!”

“I can feel it too! That’s a good one. Let’s see, what else? I hear a bird singing. Jesus said God cares for the birds. What kind is that? Do you know?”

Mike listened to the trill. “That’s a robin. They always sing like that in the evening. Are we almost to the park?”

“Yes, we are. How did you know?” Kenya sounded amazed.

“I hear kids playing and laughing.” Mike tipped his head and listened to a rhythmic thudding sound with just a hint of a ring to it. Then there would be a funny sort of vibration and a shout. “Basketball, right?”

“How did you know?” Now Kenya’s voice was full of admiration, and Mike finally smiled.

“I can tell. Other balls don’t ring like that. Nairobi and Morgan are playing, and Nairobi just got a basket.”

“You are amazing! I think that’s one of the signs that God cares for us too.” Kenya said.

“What is?” Mike asked.

“That even if Satan makes something bad happen, like someone being born blind, God gives them other gifts.” Kenya hesitated. “I know it’s not the same. I wish you could see.”

Mike turned his face toward her. “So do I. But there’s one thing I can see very well.”

“What’s that?” Kenya asked.

“I can see a very good friend. Thank you,” Mike answered.

“You’re welcome. Want to watch the game? I’m practicing to be a sports announcer.”

“OK!”

And with Kenya’s help, Mike “watched” the game.

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