How An App For Blind People Will Help You See Spiritually

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Glasses

A little while ago I stumbled across an app with a pretty simple yet brilliant concept. It’s called Be My Eyes. The basic idea is that someone who is blind or visually impaired and needs help seeing something—whether reading a street sign, an expiration date, matching socks, etc.—can place a call and a volunteer from anywhere in the world can answer and be able to easily assist them as they point their phone at whatever they need help visualizing. What a useful app.

A Simple Mac and Cheese Label

Mac and CheeseI’ve only had one experience answering a call in the short time I’ve had the app—the number of volunteers far outweighs those who are visually impaired—but it was an experience I’ll never forget. I was running up a hill when my phone rang. Someone needed help. As I answered, a pleasant elderly woman asked for my assistance in reading the baking instructions for a Costco sized tray of mac n cheese. I was easily able to read them off for her, and she was very appreciative. And that was it.

The rest of my run, and really the entire day, my heart was filled with happiness that I was able to help this woman. Though it was a very small thing, I was grateful I was given the opportunity to help someone do something they couldn’t have done on their own. It’s a tremendous feeling. As I’ve reflected on this experience and the app in general, it was impossible for me to not draw a gospel parallel from it.

You Are My Hands

Christ with no hands
Image via Pitterle Postings

Elder Uchtdorf retold a story in General Conference a few years ago of a Christus statue that was damaged during a World War II bombing. The hands were broken off beyond repair. Some wanted a sculptor hired to remake new hands for the statue, but it was ultimately decided against. Instead, a sign was placed at the base of the statue which said: “You are my hands.”

This powerful phrase calls for us to continue on the Savior’s work, as He has since ascended back to His Father. The best way we can remember His life and sacrifice for us is by extending His magnificent ministry in whatever way we can.

Related: Ministering to the One

“Be My Eyes, Be My Hands”

Christ with light
Artwork by Simon Dewey

“Be My eyes. Be My hands.” Imagine the Savior asking you to do this for Him. Could you? Would you? Well, if we really think about it, He already has.

In his departing words before leaving the people of ancient America and ascending again into heaven Christ said:

Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do…

And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; 

(3 Nephi 18:24-25).

Giving Sight to the Blind

Jesus heals a blind man lds
Copyright Intellectual Reserve

We live in a world where many wander in darkness. Some experience spiritual blindness. Others feel alone. Many are without hope. The Savior desires for each of us to be a “light” to the world. Just like a lamp or the rising sun, we have the opportunity to help others see and feel the warmth of Christ’s Gospel through our example and Christlike love.

Elder Uchtdorf in a 2010 conference address said:

“As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.”

Elder Uchtdorf invites us to “emulate His perfect example.” It’s a beautiful thought that we can become His eyes, hands, and heart if we follow Him. Everything the Savior did was for the purpose of building up his Father’s kingdom here on the Earth by ministering to others. He always had God’s will on His mind, striving to do what He would have Him do.

Related: A Lay Clergy: The Value of Service

Where Do Your Arrows Point?

Stick figuresOne of my bishops growing up was fond of drawing two stick figures on a chalkboard during a Priesthood or Sunday School class. One would have arrows pointing towards its body, the other with arrows pointing outwards. He would then ask us:

“Which one are you?”

I try to ask myself this question every once in a while, and I’m sad to report that I often find more arrows pointing inward than out (the drawing really should have a third stick figure with arrows pointing every which way). Nevertheless, if we are to truly model the Savior and be His eyes and hands, we will always be looking out and up to those in need. Elder Uchtdorf promises that we will be blessed as we do so.

As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. 

Indeed, as we embody the Savior’s teachings and life, we will find ourselves happier and more fulfilled. Serving others really is a win-win. Though it may be difficult or uncomfortable at times, using our eyes and hands for good is Christ’s way— the best way.

Erik grew up in Pocatello, Idaho and is currently studying communications at Brigham Young University with a minor in business. He served as a missionary in the remote island nation of Kiribati, is a marathon runner, and holds a firm belief that eating a bowl of cereal before bed is the best way to end each day.