When Needs Are Satisfied
MANY years ago the prediction was made: “The eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped.”
‘But that is impossible,’ you may say. If you do, you will probably be surprised to learn that many 20th-century biotechnicians no longer view it as impossible. Why?
Sight for the Blind?
If asked with what organ you see objects, you would most likely answer: ‘With my eyes.’ The biotechnician, however, would more likely reply: ‘With my brain.’ And he would be more correct. For while the eye is the sense organ that captures the light and produces electrical impulses, it is the rear section of our brain that provides us with visual perception.
The French journal Science et Vie recently summarized research that has been done to help the blind see artificially. Implanted in the brain’s visual center, tiny electrodes that are connected to a video camera are able to send signals from the camera directly into the brain. A sensation of light is produced, much as we may “see stars” when hit on the head. By making the appropriate connections, the brain will read the light flashes just as we read signs made up of many individual light bulbs. While those whose eyes have been blinded may thus be helped to see, persons whose visual centers in the brain have been damaged will not be benefited by this method.
Hearing for the Deaf?
“For the ear, the problem is perhaps less than for the eye,” claims Dr. Jean-Michel Bader. Fine strides have been made in the production of cochlear implants to restore a degree of hearing to some people with hearing impairments. But what of those whose deafness is due to problems with the transformation of sound waves into electrical impulses for transmission to the brain?
For the benefit of such ones, work progresses on an electronic inner ear. By means of a device with a pocket microphone that converts sound into electrical impulses, signals are fed along a wire to a small transmitter attached to the skin near the ear. A miniature receiver implanted under the skin and connected directly to the auditory nerve passes the message along to the brain, bypassing the normal route.
Need for More Reliable Help
Despite the prospects such research seems to offer, scientists realistically recognize that attempts to correct body defects often fail because science lacks an understanding of the complexities of the way our physical organs and senses work. Consequently, the race is on to build up a more complete picture of the function of our body processes.
While many may rest their hope in science for the restoration of sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, there is a much more reliable basis for hope. It is the promise of the Creator of man’s senses, Jehovah God. He is the one who long ago inspired the prediction: “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped.” (Isaiah 35:5) But how can we be sure those words will come true? What is “that time” during which it is promised to occur?
Foregleams of the Future
If a thing occurred in the past, would that not give you confidence that it could happen again, especially if the one who was responsible for it said it would? Well, in the first century of our Common Era, Jesus Christ restored senses to those who had lost them, even as he once reported: “The blind are receiving sight, the lame are walking, the lepers are being cleansed and the deaf are hearing.” (Luke 7:22) These healings did not depend on modern technology.
Once Jesus even healed a man who had been born blind. Many neighbors and acquaintances acknowledged the miracle. The man whose sight had been restored said: “From of old it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of one born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing at all.” Yes, Jesus restored that man’s sight through the power of God!—John 9:32, 33.
What did this prove? Why, that with God’s power, all who suffer impaired senses can be healed! Thus, Jesus Christ performed these miracles to demonstrate on a small scale what will take place earth wide under the rule of God’s Kingdom. It is “at that time,” during the rule of God’s Kingdom, that there will be a grand literal fulfillment of the Bible prophecy: “The eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped.”—Isaiah 35:5.
Knowing God’s promise for the future as well as coming into a personal relationship with him makes a handicapped person feel that a disability need not be overwhelming. It enables him to have a happier, fuller life now. Indeed, how wonderful it will be when those who once had impaired senses exult and rejoice and when all grief and sighing will have fled away!—Isaiah 35:10.
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How wonderful it will be when those who once had impaired senses exult and rejoice!