Friday, 3 December 2010


Well-meaning though they may be, churches generally aren't geared to the needs of blind worshippers. The hymn book lyrics are either printed in small type or projected onto a screen. Houses of worship rarely have braille Bibles or hymnals available. Though Redwater Alliance Church provided me copies of the hymns in large print, most visually-impaired congregants are left to memorize the choruses and sacred songs or suffer the embarrassment of not being able to sing.

In my upcoming How I Was Razed memoir, I wrote the following about my ongoing worship problem.


Before the ceremony, Sister R lead a short worship service. Unable to read the hymn book Sister E proffered, I hung my head in shame as everybody else sang "Shall We Gather At The River." This perennial humiliation haunted me throughout my life. I would visit a church, the singing would start, and somebody would hold out an open hymn book which I couldn't possibly read without a strong magnifier. Even when I had one, having to press my nose almost to the paper made singing awkward.


How I Was Razed is the testimony of the way I was mislead by a cult church, how I turned my back on God after I felt he perennially failed to heal my eyes, and how he graciously brought me to my senses.

My previous books, When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies) and Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), are now available online by clicking here or by clicking here to e-mail me directly.


  1. You've hit on a perrennial problem, and I don't know if there's an easy answer.
    I was taught from an early age to use my vision to the fullest, so it was common for me to put my face into the hymnal with a handheld magnifier. I don't like doing that any more, not only because it probably looks awkward, but because it's just too much work. I could never follow the words well anyway, and I could never read music.
    I've always tried following along in the bible during preaching too, by using my magnifier and a large print Bible. But that's work, too and can be distracting. I've known some blind people who listen to a talking bible with headphones while the pastor is preaching. That's definitely too distracting in my opinion, and I'd never attempt it.
    I've only had one instance where the pastor copied his study notes in large print for me. That was about the time we decided that wasn't the church for us, in spite of the pastor's kind gesture.

  2. In March, I hope to publish a book excerpt about a hilarious incident involving my New Testament and my magnifying glass. I was in a student-lead Bible class and nobody minded that I couldn't see well. In other studies and services, my poor vision wasn't accepted so graceously.


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