"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For the Greater Good?

In 1809, a boy was born to a leather worker and horse tack maker in France. By the time the boy was two, he was following his father to the workshop, playing while his father worked. Although warned many times not to touch his father’s tools, the boy was fascinated with them. At age three, the boy was playing with an awl, trying to make a hole in a piece of scrap leather, when a freak accident caused the awl to glance off the hard leather and into his eye.
Though taken to the best surgeon in Paris, nothing could be done to save his eye. He suffered for weeks as a severe infection moved from the affected eye to his good eye. He managed to survive the ordeal, but by age five, was totally blind.
Trying for normalcy, his parents sent him to school with his siblings. At age ten his teachers suggested his parents allow him to seek higher education. He went to Paris to live at and attend the National Institute for Blind Youth. He was passionate about learning. He devoured the few books available at the school and was left wanting more.
            This was the beginning of a story I heard during Teaching Time at the Community Bible Study I attend. The sixteenth lesson of a thirty lesson study on the book of Revelation brought us to Chapter 13, verses 1-10 this week (see below). Three themes emerged from these verses:
1)     Be alert to the schemes of satan.
2)     Recognize that sometimes God does allow suffering if it accomplishes a greater purpose.
3)     Endure hardship, trusting in God’s faithfulness to believers.
And now, the rest of the story.  This young man had a propensity for music, becoming an accomplished cellist and organist. He wanted to write music, but puzzled over how a blind man could do that. He yearned for two-way communication between the blind and the sighted.
He had heard of a system used by the French Army called “Night Writing.”This approach allowed soldiers to “talk” to one another without uttering a sound and tipping the enemy off to their location. Captain Charles Barbier willingly shared his system of dots and dashes with Louis, but it was too complicated for daily use. Louis began to experiment with Barbier’s system, adding ideas of his own. He designed a plan using a series of raised symbols to represent letters.
You have probably guessed by now the young man in the story is Louis Braille, founder of the Braille System which allows the blind to read and communicate.
But there’s more to this story. On a visit home, Louis went to his father’s shop to look for a tool that would make the perfect sized dots on the paper. Have you guessed yet that it was the awl? The object that crippled Louis Braille was used to enhance the lives of millions of people. By 1824, he had published a book on the Braille system. His second edition, printed in 1829, featured enhancements that brought it up to the system still in use today. His Braille music notation allows the blind to write music.
What is your awl? What is the thing that is crippling you, keeping you from accomplishing your purpose? Give it to God and allow Him to take it and use it for your good or the good of others.
Going out with joy today-

Revelation 13:1-10 ESV
 13 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear:
10 If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.


  1. Cathy, once again you bring us an intriguing story that illustrates God's truth. What is my awl? I think of how frustrating it must be for God to have handed someone tools like blindness and an awl, and then have them (me) misuse those tools by being bitter and blind.

  2. I'm sure God is frustrated by many of the things He sees us doing when He wants so much more for us and has given us the tools to get there. "Thank you, Father, for your mercy and grace."

  3. I love that story Cathy and it is inspiring when we fall into a slump or times of suffering. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Mary Jane! It really touched my heart when I heard it. Blessings!

  4. Great story, Cathy. Your words are encouraging and remind me to be thankful for what comes my way each day. God has a plan! Blessings to you, dear friend.

  5. Cathy, just what I needed to hear..er read today. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for stopping by today, Marian. It blesses me to know this encouraged you. Thanks for letting me know.