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They say, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But what if the beholder can’t see?
Getting to Know David Byrd
What if deciphering what’s beautiful can only be done with the heart? As I learned the answers to these questions firsthand from David Byrd, I began to feel somewhat of a distrust for my own sight.
For 22 years now, David Byrd has been a loyal family employee at the Taylor Family Y of Cary. And with David, no work day starts, or ends, without smile and a friendly greeting. David runs the track, walks on the treadmill, mans the laundry room to keep the members fully stocked with fresh clean towels, works the fitness desk and plays a mean cello every Christmas at the Y. And he does all of these things without sight.
David is blind. Seeing him do life, in spite of being blind, is inspiring. But there’s something else that sets David apart and that’s his heart. A couple of weeks ago, I overheard David say, “Good to see you” as he ended a conversation. Out of sheer curiosity, I asked him about it and his response was so humbling.
ME: David, I noticed that you said, “Good to see you.”
DAVID: I did, but I can’t really see them because I’m blind.
ME: So why do you say it?
DAVID: My heart sees them. In my heart, I can feel who they are. My heart tells me about people when I talk to them. So the only thing I get is the “person” that God made, and not what He made them look like.
I was silenced, humbled and almost in tears. Not because I felt sorry for David for being blind, but it was the reality of my own blindness that pricked my heart. We live in a world where so much of what we do, what we say, how we feel and how we treat people, is based upon what they look like. It could be skin color, height, weight, hair color or even what someone is wearing.
It’s a blessing to be able to see; I’m not taking anything at all away from that privilege. But can you just imagine how many beautiful people we’d see if we would use our “Heart Sight,” instead of our “Eye Sight?”
If everybody in the world closed their eyes, and allowed their hearts to be their guide, we would never again find ourselves lost in the judgement of what we see.
“Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
Story by Jimi Clemons. Photo courtesy of Becky Dunn.