I’m sure it was a miracle when I began to read. I could chant with the others c-a-t, but how that came to mean ‘cat’ I had no idea. Then suddenly I could read. The page full of words all made sense to me. My elderly next-door neighbours were delighted that I could read to them from the paper, while my sister, two years older than I, was most annoyed that I was reading and enjoying books that were for her age.
When we were evacuated, our class was taken to a library, a new experience for me. The teacher tried to steer me towards books more suitable for an eight year old, but once she found I was enjoying the collection of fairy tales I had chosen she would call on me to tell stories for her to the class.
Once I was teaching, my method was no longer confined to phonetics, but I still believe there was a measure of the miraculous when the children are able to enjoy books, and that we should have faith in those who appear to be slow learners, trusting for the miracle in their lives too.
Yes, we believe in a God of miracles, and for little Aaron there have been many miracles. His mother believes it was a gift from God when she first realised her little baby had cataracts forming on both eyes, for it was Christmas Day, and it took a series of miracles from then on; for with no competent surgeon in her own country, they found a surgeon in UK willing to operate, if they could bring him before he was six months old. An on going series of miracles, for finances, accommodation – every need was met.
Soon she had a happy bespectacled toddler, wearing glasses, yes, but with an amazing love for books.
Certainly, the ability to read has been a miracle in Aaron’s life, but I believe it needs more than the ability but also an appetite for us to enjoy reading. I’m afraid I did not have a healthy appetite, for in my teens I was devouring novels all day long. I was already in my twenties when God opened myheart to receive Jesus as my Saviour, and my eyes to find the wonderful stories that were in his book, the Bible.
At that time they had brought out the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. It was my brother John who gave me a copy. What a gift from heaven. In large, clear print, and in somewhat simpler English, not only was it full of wonderful stories, but I found God was speaking to me through his word. To read it was not just a duty, but a delight. Now I have learned to say with the Patriarch Job, ‘I esteemed the words of your mouth more than my necessary food.’
Eye sight – what a blessing it is! As well as schools, teachers, and books. We should not take such things for granted. But most of all the Bible, God’s book, the Bible, and in our own Mother tongue. What a gift, and all wrapped up in the greatest gift of all, Jesus, God’s only Son.