I saw a museum today.
So? Lots of people see museums every day.
Not me. Up to this point, I sort of saw museums. I could say I have been to many museums and I have seen blurry blobs of items that gave me the bragging rights to say I’d seen an astronaut suit or a First Ladies dress. But today, I saw the exhibits in a museum!
I’m not sure I can explain what a thrill that was. I love learning about new things. I love history. I love the extra trivia stuff about history. And I’m a normal person. Just reading about history isn’t quite enough. I love to see and touch and hear about history. With my limited vision, I have always felt left out and frustrated because I couldn’t see all these marvelous things everyone else was enjoying. So many times, I had to lay aside my pride and normalcy in order to get what I wanted – new knowledge, new discovery.
Not today. For the first time, when three friends and I visited the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa, I could act like a normal museum patron. I didn’t have to peer over the barricades, trying to make out details. I didn’t have to have people point artifacts out to me or read signs. I didn’t have to use my monocular and have a security guard threaten to confiscate what might be a weapon or hidden camera (that has happened). I didn’t have to sit in the front row for the movie, although I did. I didn’t have to joke that I whizzed through the displays because I was an ADD kind of museum goer when inwardly my brain was screaming to know about and see the wonderful unseen history surrounding me. When others marveled at the intricacies of the design on artifacts, I didn’t have to pretend that I saw it. I could see, I could really see what was behind the ropes.
Yes, I couldn’t see what others saw. But I saw a lot more than I ever have before!
That in itself would have been something to write about. But, as always, my God delights in the details. He lavishes His extraordinary love, customizing His gifts.
Visiting any museum after knowing my sight had improved would have satisfied me. What did God do? He provided the chance to see the exhibit I have longed to see for nearly four decades.
I have wanted to see the King Tut exhibit ever since I was seventeen years old. As part of my trip to the 4-H State Congress in Chicago, we got to go to the Field Museum. I had the mistaken idea that the King Tut exhibit would be there and I was so excited. Imagine my dismay when I discovered the exhibit had been there six months ago. I missed it. I consoled myself by buying a book in the museum gift shop.
You guessed it. The special traveling exhibit this summer at the Putnam Museum is the King Tut exhibit! I’m rather glad I had to wait. It made a lot more sense to me than it would have decades ago. And it was everything I had hoped for, even more, far beyond what I realized it could have been when I was a teenager.
What could I see? I saw the intricate design on replicas of the four shrines leading to his sarcophagus. I saw the detail on the death mask that covered King Tut’s head. I could read as many placards as my brain could absorb. As the audio guide described the Hippopotamus bed, I was able to track and know what on earth they were talking about. I marveled at the detail of the amulets filling a display case.
After God has graciously arranged for me to have better vision, He isn’t stopping with letting me enjoy the ordinary things of life. He isn’t stopping with mediocre museum displays either. He arranged for me to see the King Tut exhibit! Isn’t His grace amazing? It is, as Max Lucado subtitled his book on grace, “more than I deserve and greater than I can imagine.”
Oh God, forgive me for being greedy. But I want to see more! I want to go to more museums and more historical sites. I want to see national landmarks and national parks. I want to visit an aquarium and botanical gardens and . . .
I need to relax. So far, the Lord God is doing a great job as tour guide of new sight adventures, customized just for me.