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Miles to Go—Feel Me


By Marianne Miles

This is the fourth in a series of articles. The first three were entitled, “See Me”, “Hear Me”, “Touch Me”, and now I am finishing the series with “Feel Me.” Some of you will recognize these four phrases, in progression, as being from the rock opera “Tommy”, 1969.

In the opera the main character, Tommy, is a boy who is “deaf, dumb, and blind.” His one uncanny ability is pinball. Somehow, without hearing or seeing the machine he “feels” the balls and plays a “mean game.” This mystic capacity earns him a messianic-type following.

As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Tommy’s disabilities are totally psychological as a result of witnessing a murder by his parents at a young age and being told he did not see or hear what he thought he did and asked not to talk about their deed. He’s not your typical special needs child who was born with a limiting characteristic—his inability was a result of his being forced to deny the truth before him.

Previously in this series I have written of the special-need child’s longing, no, necessity, of being noticed, listened to, and to receive affection (even a hand shake) from others. In this writing I am addressing the needs of those surrounding a handicapped child. For you, to honestly feel the child’s inabilities will keep you from becoming the “deaf, dumb, and blind kid”, like Tommy.

Like Tommy, you’ve seen an uncomfortable truth. In Tommy’s case, he is young, scared, and overwhelmed with the pressure his parents place on him to deny the sad situation. Maybe when you view someone who is “less than” normal, an uncomfortable truth shakes you. You might wonder, Why did God create a child with a deformity? Is there something this child (or his parents) did to put him in a place to deserve this result?

I once heard someone say, “bad gene pool” when seeing a troubled child. This crass statement released the fear the spokesman felt about maybe having the same fate awaiting a future child of theirs (assuming they had a superior gene pool.) The statement relieved the uncomfortable tension of how to relate to a crippled child. But denying the sovereign will of God in another’s life, may blind you to His loving hand in your own.

Or maybe like Tommy, you’ve heard horrible things—about worse deformities—maybe even resulting in the death of a child. That’s not right. First, you’re born, you grow old—maybe have a few children of your own, and then you die. Right? A baby that dies…well, maybe that’s when something REALLY went wrong? Maybe God had to take the child? He probably righted a “wrong” that someone did—you are not sure who—but someone besides you, right? But, ignoring the will of God in the stories of life and death will surely close your ears to the sounds of your own eternal life coming.

We know so little. Often, I want to have answers. I want to know the why and how of sad things in life. But I don’t. You don’t either. We must both trust God with the people around us and their lots in life. And face them honestly and humbly.

Do you remember the time the disciples asked Jesus about the man who had been blind from birth?

As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:1-5 NIV)

Please note in the first verse that Jesus saw the man who was blind. His disciples saw a conundrum. They wanted an answer to the uncomfortable truth before them. A man was born blind. Who made the mistake here? Him? His parents? Or the unspoken blame they feared—was it God’s fault?

Instead, we see that the man had purpose in God’s kingdom. He had place. And God had a plan for this man’s life, a mighty plan, to be the lighted sign-board of God in the world. What an honor!

In looking for an “out” from an uncomfortable truth, the disciples missed the lesson in this for them. You see God had chosen them too. Each of them—each of us who are called children of God—have a calling. A purpose as unique and individual as each of us are created.

You might say the disciples were the “deaf, dumb and blind” boys in this story. May God open the eyes of our hearts that we may clearly view others and ourselves in life.

©2010 Marianne Miles. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

*Copyrighted back columns are available for reading in archives of Comfort Cafe. Contact Marianne for reprint availability.

Marianne Miles is a free lance writer intent on bringing comfort to mom’s of special needs kids. As she and her husband raised their children, including a son with special needs, Marianne developed a passion to support hurting mothers. Her message revolves around the love and provision of God, even in times of trial. Marianne has worked as a volunteer in the public schools, home school mom, and a teacher in a private school. She writes on the subjects of family and education in the form of devotionals, magazine articles, and poetry. Marianne welcomes reader’s comments and publisher’s questions at Marianne_Miles@yahoo.com.