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OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Follow example of the blind man

Reverend Errington Massiah

OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: Follow example of the blind man

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As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi”, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be manifested in him. – John 9: 1-3

I was prompted to write this article this week after I spoke to 67-year-old Victor Edwin Husbands, who was sitting by the desk of the receptionist at Parliament Buildings on Monday.

During my conversation, he told me that he was born blind and my first reaction was just like Jesus’ disciples – who sinned? As a priest and one who is trained in theology, I should have known better and realised that the work of God must be fulfilled, but yet I did ask that question.

But I was moved to compassion as the tears came from my eyes – the public may not have known that I am a crybaby these days, but I am one.

It was a very interesting conversation because I discovered so much about this man. His brothers and sisters have all been born with their sight.

Husbands is married with two children, both of them have their sight; his daughter is a nurse and his son is in the sixth form of The Lodge School. What I found to be very fascinating was when he told me that he worked at the Barbados Telephone Company (now LIME) for 33 years as a telephone repairman.  

It was unbelievable to know that a blind person could take down a phone and then reassemble it and it works. Amazing.

Although he is blind, he is a go-getter. He has his own home which is made up of wall and purple heart. It is a great achievement, for there are many people with their sight and waiting on Government to provide a home for them.

Husbands is retired but is still very active. He travels on the public transport by himself. He can be seen in Oistins daily, selling soft drinks and snacks. The question is how does he manage this? It only shows that where there is a will there is a way.

When I left Parliament, he was waiting for a ride to the bus stand to go to the Milton Lynch Primary School to collect his seven-year-old grandson.

People like Husbands must be admired for there are many people who will not work, but prefer to beg for a dollar or $5. What a pity.