Stories from the Sunday School Times – Part 1
In our weekly newsletter for our Sunday school teachers, we include some stories that can be used as part of a lesson or simply as a source of encouragement. Here is one we recently printed to illustrate how God’s people can find peace in knowing that “awl” things ultimately work together for good.
In 1809, Simon and his wife Monique welcomed their fourth child into the world—a lively boy named Louis. The family lived in a small stone house near Paris where Simon was the local harness maker. The shop, with all of its leather working tools, was not a safe place for children, so the toddler had been instructed not to go into his father’s shop alone.
But when Louis was still small, he slipped into the shop and, with natural boyhood curiosity, started to handle the fascinating tools. As Louis was inspecting an awl, the sharp tool used to punch holes in leather, he slipped and punctured a part of his eye. The injured eye became infected. The little boy could not keep his hands from rubbing and scratching the wound, and the infection soon spread to his other eye as well.
Sadly, Louis was completely blind by the age of five. He was fortunate enough, however, to study at the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris where he excelled as an organist.
At the age of twelve, Louis began wondering if the blind might still be able to read. It wasn’t as much if but how. Over summer break at home, young Louis determined to find the answer.
As he fumbled and groped around his father’s shop in search of the right tool for his task, the awl presented itself as perfect for the job. The awl would make the raised dots the French military system used for “night writing.” And with the same kind of instrument that had blinded him years before, Louis Braille worked and worked until he created a system of dots whereby the blind could not only read but also write, work math problems, and compose music—the Braille system.
Confirming original sources can be challenging, especially in instances when more than one person has been credited to having written a story or at least some version of it or an originator cannot be traced. Authorship will be noted when it is known; but should there be any infringements upon copyright materials or personal ownership, we will correct it in any future publications.