Last night, my wife and I watched The Miracle Worker, the 1962 movie about the nearly blind Anne Sullivan working with Helen Keller to bring her out of the darkness of her deafness and blindness.
In one of many memorable scenes, Anne and Helen have a knock-down, drag-out wrestling match during dinner. Anne is determined to teach her manners and respect. Helen is completely spoiled and as stubborn as a mule. The battle goes on and on, but Anne prevails with a small victory. She teaches Helen to fold her napkin.
Then, when Helen leaves, Anne is left wondering this. “How can I bring this child out of her darkness? How can I awaken her soul to want to learn?” She reads about how people persevere to rescue a person who has fallen into a pit with mounds of rubble on top of them. But seldom do people persevere to rescue a child’s soul who remains in a pit of blindness and deafness.
As the story goes on, Anne breaks through, Helen begins learning, and realizes that she is loved. She becomes the famous Helen Keller whose story has inspired millions.
This morning when I awakened, I thought again of the movie and of Ephesians 5:14 – “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead and the Lord will shine upon you.”
God calls us to awaken the “Helen Keller’s” of the world – to persevere with people and to draw them out so that they will want to learn about the Savior’s love for them and embrace him.
The picture on this post shows Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft who won Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress, respectively, for this inspiring film.