一位改变了我生活的女孩

My childhood and adolescence1 were a joyous2 outpouring of energy, a ceaseless quest for expression, skill, and experience. School was only a background to the supreme3 delight of lessons in music, dance, and dramatics, and the thrill of sojourns4(逗留,旅居) in the country, theaters, concerts.

 

And books, big Braille books that came with me on streetcars, to the table, and to bed. Then one night at a high school dance, a remark, not intended for my ears, stabbed my youthful bliss5: "That girl, what a pity she is blind." Blind! That ugly word that implied everything dark, blank, rigid6, and helpless. Quickly I turned and called out, Please don’t feel sorry for me, I’m having lots of fun. But the fun was not to last.

 

With the advent7 of college, I was brought to grips with the problem of earning a living. Part-time teaching of piano and harmony and, upon graduation, occasional concerts and lectures, proved only partial sources of livelihood8. In terms of time and effort involved, the financial remuneration(酬劳,赔偿) was disheartening. This induced within me searing self-doubt and dark moods of despondency. Adding to my dismal9 sense of inadequacy10 was the repeated experience of seeing my sisters and friends go off to exciting dates. How grateful I was for my piano, where—through Chopin, Brahms, and Beethoven -- I could mingle11 my longing12and seething13 energy with theirs. And where I could dissolve my frustration14 in the beauty and grandeur15(壮丽,庄严) of their conceptions.

 

Then one day, I met a girl, a wonderful girl, an army nurse, whose faith and stability were to change my whole life. As our acquaintance ripened16 into friendship, she discerned, behind a shell of gaiety, my recurring17 plateaus of depression. She said, "Stop knocking on closed doors. Keep up your beautiful music. I know your opportunity will come. You’re trying too hard. Why don’t you relax, and have you ever tried praying?"

 

The idea was strange to me. It sounded too simple. Somehow, I had always operated on the premise18 that, if you wanted something in this world, you had to go out and get it for yourself. Yet, sincerity19 and hard work had yielded only meager20 returns, and I was willing to try anything. Experimentally, self-consciously, I cultivated the daily practice of prayer. I said: God, show me the purpose for which You sent me to this world. Help me to be of use to myself and to humanity.

 

In the years to follow, the answers began to arrive, clear and satisfying beyond my most optimistic anticipation21. One of the answers was Enchanted22 Hills, where my nurse friend and I have the privilege of seeing blind children come alive in God’s out-of-doors. Others are the never-ending sources of pleasure and comfort I have found in friendship, in great music, and, most important of all, in my growing belief that as I attune23 my life to divine revelation, I draw closer to God and, through Him, to immortality24.

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