Letters to the Editor

Christmas spells love

To the editor: 

In 1957 our nation was privileged to see the showing of the movie “The Miracle Worker.” This was a portrayal of the early life of Helen Keller, who was born in 1880 and at 19 months old contracted meningitis that so affected her brain that she came through this fever blind, deaf and mute.

The movie takes place in Helen’s life when she is about 6 years old. Because of her extreme disability and her parents not knowing what they could do to help her function, they hired a woman trained with the blind and the deaf named Anne Sullivan played in the movie by Anne Bancroft.

The role of Helen was brilliantly played by Patty Duke, which was so realistically acted that viewers could easily mistake her as the real Helen. When Anne Sullivan is hired, Helen is very unruly, tries to be disruptive to get her own way and resists Anne’s attempts to train her to understand finger-signing.

Anne in her struggle to teach Helen discipline and signing, had her taken to a cottage separated from the main house and the family were told to keep away from them as she needed to be totally alone with Helen.

The struggle continues for both Anne and Helen and some success is achieved in that Helen  has found in herself a certain level of discipline, but not with any understanding of finger-signing and relating objects with certain words. The parents are satisfied with this and want to take her home, but Anne is not content at all. She wants Helen to understand the language that she is trying to teach her.

In the most dramatic scene in the movie, Anne and Helen are with the family and Helen tries to test Anne and begins to be disruptive. The scene unfolds with Anne carrying Helen out to the well and pumps water out with Helen feeling the water in one hand and Anne signing into her other hand, w-a-t-e-r. Helen stops. She is understanding something. She wants Anne to pump again, then spell again into her hand. Suddenly a miracle happens. Helen can relate words spelled with the things she is touching. This scene would never fail to bring copious tears to anyone’s eyes. 

A very great miracle was visible one silent night about 2,000 years ago when the eyes and ears of humanity would be totally opened to divine truth. This was the night God brought His only begotten Son to earth through a virgin birth to bring us all to a more abundant life. The word L-O-V-E was spelled out for us also. Love now means how much God loves us, and forgiveness, trust, strength, compassion, mercy, healing, peace and great hope are part of this love.

Our miracle will happen when we embrace this love and make it part of our lives so we can know Christ as God wants us to know love, for God is love. 

Love comes to the world as God’s perfect Christmas gift.

Peter Pinette

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