On Milton’s Blindness

Audio / Produced by The High Calling


The great poet John Milton, author of the epic Paradise Lost, was totally blind by age 41. But he learned to compose poetry in his head.

In a famous sonnet titled "On His Blindness," Milton asks, "Does God exact day-labor light denied?" In other words, he cried, "Why give me this gift to write?—then turn out the lights?" In the sonnet, Milton answers his own question: He concludes that God uses many people for active purposes. But, he says, "they also serve who only stand and wait."

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. When we feel most useless, we may be the most useful in God's design. "Weakness" is relative—in the high calling of our daily work.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

(Rom. 8:26)