Elaine Wheat is a faith columnist for the Victoria Advocate.

I was fishing a little spot on the beachfront that I had fished so many times, I knew each part by heart. The lower tide was in, and the morning sun was relentlessly blaring into my eyes until I felt as if it was actually shining through my head and out of the back of it. For just one second, I decided to close my eyes.

That felt really nice, so I decided just to fish that way. I always wondered if sightless people could fish, and now I was going to try being blind for at least 30 minutes to see how it felt. At first, I couldn't keep my eyes closed, and I would peek out at every fish bite or screeching seagull. I finally found an old sock in my car and wrapped it over my eyes and tied it on with my extra stringer.

Finally, I got settled in my lawn chair and started my blindness experiment. I noticed that I could hear cars slow down on the shell beach road as they passed me, and one man even came up to me and offered to help me do whatever I was doing. He got all huffy when I explained my experiment and left saying, "Have you no pride?" I just yelled at him, and said, "I wonder if anyone asked Sir Isaac Newton why he was sitting under an apple tree?"

I continued my sightless experiment, and what I discovered was truly awesome. My other senses seemed to become more alert to my familiar world around me. I could feel the slightest breeze on my sun worn hands; the shrimp smelled stronger when I would re-bait; I could taste the salty spray on my lips that usually goes unnoticed; I could even feel when a cloud passed over the sun and I could respond to the smallest nibble on my hook that I probably wouldn't have noticed until my cork came back up.

Dear Lord, thank you for my blindness experiment, but I will admit that I was also thankful for when it was over. Help me to carry this over in my life: When I close my eyes in prayer, I will become more sensitive to the needy world around me.

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