Sunday, October 18, 2015


SA Colonel Helmy Boije 
Reflection from Russia 1919

The massive Navy Hospital in Petrograd was crowded with the sick and injured. Mine was a large room with many beds on either side. It was cold and it was dark as no electric lights were available. Many of the sick were carried out and away…. No one took much notice of anything going on there in the dark. Anxiety and pain lodged there among us.

Then came a night of almost complete darkness and entering the room a young girl asked: "Shall I read to you?" 

What a question! Who could possibly read in this pitch darkness. "Yes," came the muffled response from a few, "I am a blind girl, and my teachers from the School for the Blind lend me books - good books. I can read in the dark.

 "Never will I forget the overwhelming feeling that came over me. In the darkness I could hear the clear connection-  It was an old book, which I too had read in my childhood, "The Martyrs of Spain." 

Page after page she read, while her fingers glided over the book's leaves. Hour after hour passed. You forgot the pain, cold and hunger…. The time was all too short. 

Much have I forgotten -  both of joy and sadness, but the blind girl in the hospital, I will never forget. 

Her blindness, this 'negative' in her life, what others might lament as a great loss, that very thing was a blessing and encouragement to us all. 

Where seeing eyes could not prevail, there "the blind" could see.

And so instead that picture became a prayer for mercy and grace, to not grumble or grieve over what looks like a loss, a disappointment, a sorrow, but to simply give what you have, to love God and serve your neighbor - give yourselves completely. Then your minus becomes a plus, your loss a blessing. 

"Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will get it back." (Eccl. 11:1)

Translation: Sven Ljungholm

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