Though Canadian Thanksgiving Day is over, I thank God every day for the wondrous freedoms I enjoy. One precious freedom is the lack of pain I now feel about being sent to a residential school for deaf and blind students in Vancouver, British Columbia. At the tender age of seven, my parents sent me five-hundred miles from my home for months at a stretch I'm so glad that school no longer exists.
How was this miracle accomplished? June Hunt, the host of Hope in the Night, gave me the answer back in 2003. It all stems from a proper understanding of forgiveness. The word originally meant to write off a debt. Since vengeance is the Lord's and he'll repay, we can hand over our assumed right to revenge to him.
June told me to make a list of all the hurtful situations and list the names of those who wounded me emotionally. Then she said to go down the list and hand each hurt or person over to Christ to deal with. She cautioned that the pain would keep coming back but I would eventually be free of it.
I did as she said and it worked. The memories and bad dreams don't trouble me anymore. Though I still think it was wrong for the Alberta government to convince Mom and Dad to send me so far from home for such long periods, the poignancy of the memories is greatly diminished. I've forgiven the people who exiled me to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind but that doesn't mean that I now approve of what they did. Had I been given a strong magnifying glass and monocular, to view the blackboard with, I could have gone all the way through public school.
I'm thankful that today's disabled students are educated along with their sighted peers. Segregating them into distant institutions is rarely done these days. Sight-impaired students now have access to computers and visual aids barely dreamt of when I was in school.
I wrote about the time I was sent to that institution in a book called Deliverance from Jericho. Check it out on the left side of this page.