The Children of the Blue Nun

Chapter VC: The wind restores the blind man's vision

By Larry Torres
Posted 11/27/19

Alone in the barren desert, Sister María tried to open her eyes but she was blinded by the light of dawn. The rays of the bright sun penetrated the shadows on the eastern horizon. Local people recognized it as "the light of dawn" or as "the eye of daybreak." She leaned on a half-wall of warm adobe, meditating on all the beauty that is the world.

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The Children of the Blue Nun

Chapter VC: The wind restores the blind man's vision

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Alone in the barren desert, Sister María tried to open her eyes but she was blinded by the light of dawn. The rays of the bright sun penetrated the shadows on the eastern horizon. Local people recognized it as "the light of dawn" or as "the eye of daybreak." She leaned on a half-wall of warm adobe, meditating on all the beauty that is the world.

The first words that would burst forth from the lips of the local people as soon as they woke up were songs of praise to the Eternal God. "On this new day, we render thanks de Thee, O almighty God, Lord of all creation." Every good prayer always began with thanks before beginning to ask for things. Sister María marveled to think that all of creation longed to know the Creator.

While the first rays warmed her face, Sister María chanced to see an elderly man zigzagging toward her. As he came forward, it was evident that he was blind. He was clinging to the sagebrush and to the boulders with each step, walking cautiously and running his fingers along the face of the half-wall. Suddenly he chanced to touch the hand that was resting on the wall and Sister María withdrew it quickly. He was surprised by the unexpected contact with another human being.

"Pardon me, Your Grace," he said. "I wasn't expecting to find anyone here."

"Where are you going in such a hurry, little father?" Sister María asked him.

"Every morning I hurry to get to this Chapel of St. Michael before the wind comes up," the blind man answered her. "It was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians last year in 1624, directed by the Franciscan friars. Their ancestors had come to the New Mexico Territorio with the conqueror Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540. I like to sit here, awaiting God's bounty in my life."

Sister María thought it curious that the blind man could not expect to see the bounty of anything, unless Jesus Christ himself came by to anoint his eyes with saliva and dust and restore his sight as He had done with the poor blind man at the Pool of Siloam, 2,000 years before. But the blind man had answered her with such certainty that she was driven to ask him: "Perhaps you are trying to tell me that you see the wind - something that is impossible even for those who have good sight?"

With his right index finger, the little old blind man pointed toward an ancient heavy bell that was hanging there on the chapel belfry. "When men try to ring the bell with its rope," the blind man continued, "time passes by as usual but whenever the wind whips up and moves the bell, my sight is restored and I can see everything as clearly as if I had been born with perfect sight."

"How is such a grace possible, father?" Sister María asked him.

"Nothing is impossible with God, sister," answered the blind man, now that the wind had whipped up. "What men seem to see as wind is nothing less than the movement of angels' wings that touches the bell. Just as you can travel across the skies on the hands of angels, so too the heavy bell also is transformed from lead to a feather likeness in the wind."

Sister María was greatly astonished when the blind man began to tell her all about the colors and shapes all around him. But the moment that the wind died down, the poor man fell back into the shadows anew.

"Blessed and praiseworthy be the Lord forever!" Sister María exclaimed with wonder.

The Spanish version of this story is on Page C4.

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