Today is World Sight Day, a time to raise awareness about blindness and vision issues.
As a reminder, The Upper Room offers the daily devotional in braille free-of-charge through the generosity of donors. If you have given to the braille ministry, we say THANK YOU. You are making a huge difference in the lives of nearly 500 brothers and sisters in Christ who rely on the braille edition each day.
In honor of World Sight Day, we share a story from Becka, one of our braille readers.
In the fall of 2016, the Holy Spirit kept nudging me to honor my quiet times, but I did not take heed. It was an exciting new season in my singing career, and I was too afraid of losing my newfound groove. However, when I came down with a nasty virus, I had no choice but to rest my body. On January 28, 2017, I opened my braille copy of The Upper Room to read the day’s meditation. It was called "Rest Practice." The scripture to be read was Matthew 11:28–30. As my mind played through the aria set to that scripture from Handel's Messiah, I lifted my fingers from the page. Again, when I read the quoted scripture (Hebrews 4:10-11), I lifted my fingers and prayed, "Lord, if this meditation has to do with sheet-music rests, I'll know You are speaking to me." Sure enough, the writer of the meditation, Sherrie, was a drummer. She relayed her experience of twice missing a rest while learning a song, subsequently realizing the need to practice the other rests in her life too. I felt an instant kinship with this fellow Christian musician and shared her joy when she mastered that rest. Like Sherrie, I could practice resting, both musically and otherwise. When I later recorded Handel's aria on my third solo album, I stood tall and sang, “And He will give you rest." Then I rested—twelve beats of it—before singing, "Take His yoke upon you and learn of Him..."
I am so grateful for the braille edition of The Upper Room. When I occasionally miss a meditation or read one in an alternative format, I feel like I’m missing or rushing through a rest in my life's score. With the braille edition, I can power down each day and in the stillness discover under my fingers the ever-crisp word of God.”
What a good word from Becka—to rest in God’s presence. By the way, Becka is from New Brunswick, Canada, and has been a braille reader of The Upper Room for six years. She records under the name Becka deHaan. Check out her music at beckadehaan.com.
The braille edition is available free in two formats: print and digital, designed to be used with braille readers. If you or someone you know needs to receive the devotional in braille, please call Customer Services at 1-800-972-0433 to order.
The Upper Room also has a special partnership with AudioBooks Ministries in Seattle, serving the visually impaired with a free lending library. Eligible patrons can join here to gain free access to each issue of The Upper Room devotional in an audio format via download or through the use of digital talking book players.
And, as a special service for all during COVID, The Upper Room devotional is also available to hear on your phone by calling 1.615.212.2013 (If you pay for long-distance calls, please call 1.877.600.7218.)
Thank you for your gifts to support those who are blind and visually impaired.
I could not have found The Upper Room Moments of Prayer (on Facebook Live) sooner. For it is during these moments of centering spiritual practices, meditating on the words of scripture, praying with and for the world, that I find moments of transcendence, hear whispers of peace and hope, see glimpses of truth and justice, behold visions of love and beauty amid all the stark realities that are around me.”