Kagawa, the great spiritual leader of Japan, lay in a hospital, threatened with total blindness. He spent months in a dark room with thick bandages covering his eyes. And when they said to him, “Your health is gone, your sight is gone. Are you not afraid of approaching death?” He calmly answered that there was nothing he feared in this wide, wonderful, God –filled world.
“As I lie in this dark room,” he said , “God still gives light. Pains that pierce the very fires of hell itself, sweep over me. Yet, even in the melting fires of hell, God’s mercy, for which all of earth’s manifold treasures would be an utterly inadequate exchange, still enfolds me . To me all things are vocal. Oh, wonder of love! The bedding, the tears, the perspiration, the vapour of the compress on my eyes, the ceiling, the voice of the sparrow – all are vocal. God and every inanimate thing speak to me. Thus even in the dark, I feel no sense of loneliness.”
“You suffer so much,” they said to him. “And you cannot see. Don’t you find it inconvenient?” “Yes,” he answered. “But it is inconvenient for people to not have wings, isn’t it? If, however, they invent aeroplanes, these take the place of wings. The same is true regarding external eyes. If they go blind, it is simply a matter of inventing internal sight. My God is Light itself. Even though every outward thing is shrouded in darkness, in the inner chamber of my soul, God’s Eternal light shines on!”