by Timothy W. Tron, Nov. 2020
C.S. Lewis wrote, “A blind man has few friends; a blind man who has recently received his sight as, in a sense, none. He belongs neither to the world of the blind nor to that of the seeing, and no one can share his experience. After that night’s conversations, Robin never mentioned to anyone his problem about light. He knew that he would only be suspected of madness. When Mary took him out the next day for his first walk he replied to everything she said, “It’s lovely – all lovely. Just let me drink it in,” and she was satisfied. She interpreted his quick glances as glances of delight. In reality, of course, he was searching, searching with a hunger that had already something of desperation in it. Even had he dared, he knew it would be useless to ask her of any of the objects he saw, “Is that light?” He could see for himself that she would only answer, “No. That’s green” (or “blue”, or “yellow”, or “a field”, or “a tree”, or “a car”). Nothing could be done until he had learned to go for walks by himself.”
Walking aimlessly about, yesterday found me wanting to breathe spiritually, to take a break from the self-imposed incarceration – chiseling away at the stone within the rock quarry of intellect. In that temporary reprieve, a young man of interest crossed my path. He is a true savant, and at the same time, he’s a broken being, by the world’s standards. For sake of privacy, I will call him Ephraim.
Ephraim is only a high-school-aged student but is attending ASU. His disability, if you can call it that, is Autism. While he is on the high-functioning end of the spectrum, it’s effect upon his countenance is obvious. In his daily walk, he is as one that has just received his sight – he has no former friends and has yet to make new friends in this new world in which he has been thrust. It doesn’t help that he walks about often talking to himself and exhibiting the quirks of his gift to the extent others stand off to the side and make comments to one another, reprising the scene before them, thankful they’re not in his shoes. Yet, his burden, as some would suggest, is his blessing. Ephraim flourishes in the world of numbers, and analytical paradigms. In this environment, he is in his element. He has a drive, a hunger unmatched by his rivals. The enthusiasm which he exudes is like that of a burning, shining comet – flaming across the heavens. We observers of this glorious creation are reminded of the double-edged sword for which God often uses us in his life – one is the obvious blessing, the other is the hidden meaning.
For, as a new believer, Ephraim goes forth with much eagerness to seek that which is pure. To him, all the curriculum through which he is presented each day are as flashes of light. To his peers, they are an unending continuum of procedures, methods, and programs. If one were to tell Ephraim otherwise, they would only hear him evoke how marvelous their purpose and what other variations they produce in his spinning world of intelligence. His mind, like that flashing comet in the sky, races from one idea to the next. All we can do is try to grasp the tail of the phenomena and for a moment, feel the magnificence of God’s glory, even upon one so challenged in this world.
Ephraim was looking for the lost and found. Yea, how relevant was this statement at that moment, for as we walked, one had to ask, “Is he a believer, or is he seeking – is he lost or is he found?” Not knowing the answer to Ephraim’s question, I offered to join him in searching for the physical “Lost and Found.”
“It’s near the coffee shop, someone told me,” he said as we began to walk with purpose toward his assumed destination.
“Oh, ok. I’ve never seen it myself, so I guess we’re going to learn together.”
Therein the statement of profoundness overwhelms me as the words slip through my fingers onto the keyboard and onto the screen before me. Being content to, “not think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith,” should be in our forethoughts each second of every waking moment of our daily lives.
As we walked and talked, Ephraim mentioned a paraphrased quote from C.S. Lewis that had impacted him recently. To one seeking for other believers, there are certain keywords that offer clues as to the mind of those around us. The words, “C.S. Lewis,” instantly gave me hope that Ephraim was either a believer or was seeking answers. As God would have it, earlier that morning I had read the passage presented earlier in this piece. As my mind began to grasp that meaning and its relevance for the moment, a sudden dawning washed over me; Ephraim was possibly as one with the blind man – either from the natural perspective or as the spiritual, each imploring the beauty in the endless opportunities with which to rejoice in the creation around us, which so many of us take for granted each day, to that which we have consoled our minds to accept as the accepted description rather than the unspoken name for which only God knows the answer. To people like Ephraim, the instantaneous revelation of light, that inspirational spark of the moment, excite them and encourage them without need for an end. They are lifted up so that they are unable to understand the discouraged amazement of those in their presence.
As Ephraim listened, which was somewhat unaccustomed to his demeanor, I began to expand upon the Lewis passage. It is important to note that his professors find him challenging as a student since because of his gift, he cannot curb his joy and speaks incessantly. As one may imagine, this also puts him at odds with his fellow classmates. However, at that time, my thought was as only God would have it, toward another meaning of the passage that impressed upon me – the obvious allusion to light and color, and how this can speak to us through a faith lens. As Ephraim listened while we walked back to my office, my presentation included the science of light and how it relates to that of the Computer Science realm of study; an attempt of mine to keep things relevant to Ephraim without scaring him off. Mind you, at the moment, and still, do not know the true nature of his mind. So, with caution, my seed planting ensued. It was in my office, as we shared drink and crackers, the words of John 1 slipped from my lips – “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” Ephraim accepted the word without flinching, which was an encouragement, and we continued onward as he responded with his own account of the resultant destination, that of programming in a linear format, moving the memory pointer as needed, without using registers or stacks. In other words, he was framing God’s words with a memory location of his own, so that through a serial aspect, he would recall that someday and move his pointer to its location and recall it as needed. Looking back at the moment, it was almost surreal watching God work through Ephraim’s beautiful mind, allowing this child to understand like no other.
In all, the verse, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” resonated once more. While we cannot anymore control the future, we must be prepared to change and adapt to be ready to give a witness to them around us. The youth of today are not of the same as our own generation. We must understand their perceived meanings of God’s word are as varied as our own, and in this manner, we should not be dismayed or distracted. Isaiah 29:14 says it like this, “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” As our generation passes from this world into that of eternal life, we must find those whom we may pass on the word, for as the psalmist wrote, “the truth endureth to all generations.” In that manner, our own words, our individual understanding may be at odds with them that come afterward. We must find a way to speak to them so that they can relate without putting them off at the same time. Likewise, we must be prepared to hear interpretations that might not be from a perspective of our own. Yet, as we listen, we should also be prepared to direct as God would have us. In another way of speaking, we should ready our minds to hear their perspective of what we know, and through that, guide them to the truth, lest they become lost in the weeds.
Once in a great while, we happen upon something in this world so remarkable, so breathtaking, that we are literally dumbfounded. Sometimes that beauty is a cascading waterfall, roaring a thousand voices as if it were a host of heavenly beings. Other times, the glory emanates from the face of a newborn child, whose innocence and purity remind us of one who knew no sin but died for ours. And then there are times, when we meet that individual that, not by any fault of their own, exhibits an unnatural ability with which only God could ordain. In all, it should remind us that we are aliens herein – only passing through.
Those flashes of light, those shooting stars, those brilliant rays of hope are here but for an instant and then they are gone.
With them, those child prodigies, take our breath away, and in that instantaneous vacuum, we can feel the presence of God. It is in these fleeting opportunities, like the passing of two ships in the night, we must be prepared to give an answer to them that ask, a witness to them that seek, and a light unto the world. “For he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest which are wrought in God.”
Thanks be to God.
 The Dark Tower: And Other Stories. Copyright © 1977 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
 Romans 12:3 KJV
 Psalm 63:3
 Romans 12:2 KJV
 Isaiah 29:14 KJVß
 John 3:21 KJV