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Timothy Jones inspires journalism student

Marin Guta, Digital Editor

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I believe that everything happens for a reason.

A run-in I had with Mercer freshman Timothy Jones back in August only confirms my belief.

I was walking from Connell Student Center (CSC) to go meet a friend. And I was late.

As I briskly walked  to my apartment, I noticed a boy hunched over on the ground tying his shoe. Instead of staring down at his shoelace, he gazed up at the sky.

When I took notice of his red and white cane laying on the ground beside him, it immediately registered in my mind that he was legally blind. I was tempted to ignore him and keep on walking, but for some reason, I didn’t. I asked him if he needed any help, assuming that he wouldn’t accept my offer.

“Can you help me go to the cafeteria and load my plate with food?” he said.

I agreed, knowing that I would be late to meet my friend. As Timothy and I walked to the CSC, I couldn’t help but feel a little awkward and out of my element.

When we approached the front of the building, I tried to veer Timothy towards a handicap ramp in lieu of the CSC’s front steps.

“I can go up stairs,” Timothy told me. He joked, I’m blind, but not lame. I couldn’t help but to laugh at my cautious manner. I wondered how often people underestimated his independence.

My mistakes only continued. When Timothy and I entered the cafeteria, I walked five steps in front of him and began to shout out the names of the food items on display.

“This is how you lead a blind person,” Timothy said as he stood on my right side and placed his hand on my right arm. We slowly looped around the cafeteria, and I told him—this time in a normal tone of voice —the food options.

When his plate was loaded  with food, I led him to a table. I glanced down at my watch and immediately realized that I was unforgivably late to meet my friend. I quickly gathered my belongings and was prepared to leave when Timothy said something that stunned me.

“Is there anything that I can pray for you about?” he asked.

I was overwhelmed with emotion and choked back tears. Timothy felt that he needed to express gratitude to me for helping him, but I felt it should be the other way around.

I’ve received the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time with Timothy, and I can say that he truly is an incredible individual.

As a student journalist,  I have the opportunity to interview interesting people and learn a lot about their passions. But rarely you meet someone like Timothy.

His passion for life is infectious, and his faith is inspirational. He firmly believes that God has a special plan for his life.

Although he said he doesn’t know where he’ll be 20 years from now, he is committed to serving the Lord wherever he goes.

He reminds me that life is truly a gift worth living.

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Timothy Jones inspires journalism student