Hands That See

In his song “On the Road Again,” Willie Nelson sings this line, “The life I love is makin’ music with my friends.” I agree. I also like making friends with my music, and in other ways.

One of my most inspirational friends was a Renaissance man who succeeded at many things. He was a varsity wrestler in high school, a physician in his career, a pretty good mechanic from growing up on a farm and helping keep the equipment running. He was a loving and successful husband and father, and a faithful servant in his church. His college graduating class honored him as its most successful student. He was featured in an inspirational song about life being “The Test.” He could make music on a guitar and a musical saw. He was well read and articulate, and an active member of his community. He was wise in his thoughts, temperate in his habits, and his healing hands blessed thousands in his long career as a doctor.

I think the key to his accomplishments was his heart, mind, and especially his attitude. The best way I can describe that to you is with a story from his days as a medical student in Missouri.
One night a patrolling policeman stopped to check out a suspicious looking scene. A car was parked on the dark street and a man was working underneath it. The cop naturally suspected somebody was pilfering parts. He called the man out from under the car and got one of the bigger surprises of his career. The midnight mechanic was my multi-talented friend. He was fixing his car because like most students he was on a tight budget and didn’t want to pay a garage. Also he had learned how growing up on the farm in southern Utah. Mechanical work was a refreshing break for him from the mental grind of medical studies.

The suspicious policeman wasn’t convinced. “If you’re not stealing something, why are you working in the dark?”

“Because I’m not handicapped like you folks. I don’t need a light. I can ‘see’ with my hands,” said the future Dr. Iliff Jeffrey who had been blinded by an accident when he was a small child.

The policeman verified the young man’s blindness, shook his head in amazement and went back to his patrolling. The policeman was one of a long line of people who were amazed at what this man could see and do with his hands.

Dr. Jeffrey could work in the dark because he had learned the secret. It is our inner light not the outer lights around us that creates the world in which we live.