For our fourth and last stories of the year, my fiction workshop instructor gave each of us a specific assignment. Mine was to write a story from the point of view of a blind, deaf, or dumb person. I chose a blind girl and received positive feedback on my story, but felt I didn’t know enough about what it was like to be blind. Then I saw Scott MacIntyre’s biography By Faith, Not By Sight.
I received this book for review courtesy of the publisher; all opinions expressed remain my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Scott MacIntyre is a homeschooling graduate, Marshall scholar, recording artist, kidney transplant survivor and American Idol finalist. And he’s blind.
By Faith, Not By Sight: The Inspirational Story of a Blind Prodigy, a Life-Threatening Illness, and an Unexpected Gift traces his journey from his college graduation at age 19 and diagnosis with kidney failure to his year spent studying in London to his time on American Idol.
Scott shares candidly about his disability, talking about how he has found ways to do things that I would take for granted—like texting his siblings or reading his email. He has perfect pitch and plays music entirely by ear, memorizing complex piano pieces before performing them. To find his way around London, he had his parents spend a week with him helping him memorize the tube stations, his residences and the university campuses where he’d be studying.
When I focus on Christ, everything else going on in my life is put into perspective. I realize He is greater than any challenge I could ever face, and my fear melts away. ~ Scott MacIntyre
Blindness as a Blessing
Early in the book, Scott says, “My family and my closest friends had come to see my blindness like I did—as a blessing. Blindness had given me an incredible gift—to see the world in ways that other people who were distracted by sight didn’t. Though I didn’t have my eyesight, I’d developed insight and I’d learned how to trust people at a very deep level. But over the years, the biggest blessing of my blindness seemed to be that it inspired other people. When sighted people saw what I’d accomplished, and the limitations I’d overcome to accomplish those things, they felt empowered.”
One thing that struck me about Scott’s biography, and reminded me of Abby Sunderland’s story in Unsinkable, was how his parents supported him. Both Abby and Scott did remarkable things at young ages because their parents encouraged them in their dreams.
Abby’s parents could have said she was too young to sail around the world; Scott’s parents could have said (just as many friends and relatives did) that he couldn’t go to London or on American Idol because of his blindness. Instead, both the MacIntyres and the Sunderlands focused on what their children could do and helped them do the best that they could.
More about Scott MacIntyre
Scott has performed with notable acts such as Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, and Greater Vision. He is a two-time kidney transplant recipient and his story is recounted in the new documentary film, I Am Hope: Scott MacIntyre’s Inspirational Transplant Journey. In 2012, he partnered with Donate Life America and FOX to launch a national PSA for organ, eye, and tissue donation. He wrote a song for the PSA entitled “I Am Hope,” and it quickly became a theme song for the transplant community.
Scott and his wife Christina have one son, Christian. They live in Franklin, Tennessee. To find out more about Scott and his music, drop by his website.