Louis Braille was like many little boys, he loved spending time with his father. Simon-Rene Braille ran a successful harness shop in the French countryside, and little Louis loved pretending to use Father’s tools until one day an accident with a stitching awl robbed the little one of his sight. With one eye severely injured, doctors attempted to cover it and bring in an expert surgeon in hopes that it could heal. Instead, an agonizing infection developed, setting the course for a life in darkness. Over the next two years, Louis began to lose sight in both eyes, becoming completely blind at the tender age of five.
The stricken boy was sent to the Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. There, he would spend much of his life as both a student and later a teacher. While there, Braille met a soldier named Charles Barbier who spoke of “night writing,” a way of communication between soldiers by using 12 dots. Louis Braille had an idea using just six dots that would allow blind people to read, opening a whole new world to them. In 1829, at age 15, Louis Braille had created a whole system of reading by dots—Braille was that beacon of light!
To never see a blue sky, the stars that shine at night, or snow in the trees, or the smile of someone we love, is unimaginable for most of us. But there is something much worse, even deadly to us—spiritual blindness. We all share this form of blindness, living in darkness unaware, until our spiritual “eyes” are opened by God’s Holy Spirit. Only the light of God’s truth can chase away that darkness:
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous (the upright in heart). Psalm 146:8
Many things are done to aid those with physical blindness. The work of Louis Braille brought to light the world of books and knowledge to those without vision. The work of God in our lives brings light into our spirit and expels spiritual blindness so we can truly live.