We lived many years in the foothills of Georgia. It was a simple drive northeast (out US 75), turning off about 30 miles before the South Carolina line. This gave me time, not only to prepare for departure, but time to enjoy the solitude of driving home. I was on the road for 27 years holding weekend meetings called ” THREE UNUSUAL DAYS “. They were three in number, unusual in presentation and weekend days of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Going and coming I tuned in my favorite radio talk show. The MC was a country gentleman named Ludlow Porch. He asked me to appear on his program a couple of times and I enjoyed meeting and knowing him personally. Like all talk shows you never knew what to expect, but 98 percent of all callers were extremely positive. His, was then and probably still is, the most popular program on day time radio.
An unusual caller lit up the board and was plugged in to talk. There was a few seconds when nothing occurred, and Ludlow urged the responder to speak. He didn’t and the voice we heard was a gravel type (Ala Casey Stengal) voice of a man trying to sing. He started then, and stopped, regained his purpose and composure and started again. The song was “AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND“. When he finished struggling through the first verse with a trembling voice, Ludlow kindly asked for an explanation. “What’s happening and what’s this grace singing all about?” There was another pause on the other end of the line, as if he needed some time to dry his tears and gather himself. It was a riveting few moments in talk radio.
“Ludlow”, he began. I am 52 years old and have been blind due to an accident in my early years. I’m not a religious man, but I just had to call you and sing. A few moments ago my family had gathered around me as they took the pads off of my eyes. The doctors has told me that the operation may not succeed in restoring my sight. They took the bandages off and for the first time in my life, I saw my wife’s face and the beauty she bore, along with our two daughters. We all wept together and I told them I have to call Ludlow and sing. You know I’m not a good singer, but I just had to sing that one verse and celebrate with my family the beauty of seeing again.”
It was the most unique experience that I have ever had listening to talk radio. I pulled over to the side of the road and addressed my own tears and emotions. It is difficult to understand the marvel of opening your eyes and seeing the beauty of your family and the wonder of this world.
John writes about Jesus healing a blind man. “When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. . . He went his way therefore and washed and came seeing” (John 9:6-7). The religious leaders of that day asked the blind man, “How did you receive your sight?” He said to them, he put clay on my eyes and I washed and do see” (John 9:15).
Our son, Bob, got Polio just a few months before the vaccine was discovered and made available. He was two years old then and has been in a wheel chair since that day in 1952. After a serious operation to fuse his spinal column, his total body was encased in plaster for a number of months. He drove us crazy just singing and making up his own songs. One of his favorite lines was, “When I get to heaven, know what I’m going to do? I’m going to run up the stairs and run down the stairs” He paused and then called out to me, “Hey Dad, any crippled boys in heaven?” I told him “No”. Then I heard him sigh, “Boy I wish I could hurry up and go there!”
When John the Baptist was in prison, soon to be beheaded, he sent some of his disciples to inquire of Jesus, “Are you he that should come or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said unto them, “Go show John those things which you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached unto them. And blessed is he who is not offended in me” (John 11:1-6).