A Week of Gratitude – Jane Knuth on Sight

This is a guest post by Jane Knuth.

Of course, everyone is grateful for sight. The obvious benefits are being able to function without running into things and also the enjoyment of beauty.

In thinking about this post, I decided to take a walk on a peak fall day. I took my camera along to capture some shots of the beautiful trees. But there were too many. As my walk continued, I began to notice other reasons I was grateful for my sight. I took those photos too. I hope you enjoy them.

Jane Knuth is the author of Thrift Store Saints: Meeting Jesus 25¢ at a Time and Thrift Store Graces: Finding God’s Gifts in the Midst of the Mess. She has been volunteering at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the last 17 years.

If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the slideshow Grateful for Sight.


  1. Dolly says

    Thank you for the pictures. Each frame carries its own message to the beholder.
    I, too, am so grateful to God not only for the physical eyes by which I could see people and things around me, but also for the “inner eyes” which allow me to “read” God’s message when he speaks to me at the most unexpected time. Hence, this experience:
    It’ was only 3:00 in the afternoon from where I am last Saturday, but the sky was so dark that it felt like it was 6:00 in the evening! It was still rain mixed with snow at that time, and the greater bulk of the snow was expected to really fall in the evening, especially in the foothills area.
    Looking at the unusual darkness and experiencing it, I was suddenly reminded of what I go through in my life when darkness sets in: I grope and wish for the Light! These words of Thomas a Kempis spoke powerfully to me at that moment:
    “Without the food and without the light, I wither. Without the bread and without the Bible, I wander. Without the sacrament of life and the book of life, I perish.”
    The forboding darkness allowed me to pray and exclaimed, “Come Lord Jesus!”

    • Jane says

      This is so true Dolly. Darkness makes me understand how precious my sight is to me. I don’t even like to walk around my own house when it’s very dark. Thomas a Kempis speaks of withering, wandering, and perishing–a perfect description of darkness.

  2. says

    Thanks for the pictures, Jane. The brightness of the pumpkins really appeals to me but, of course, the most important picture is that of your beautiful daughters. Colour is such an important part of our lives. I am certainly grateful for the gift of sight.

  3. Carol says

    Jane thank you for the pictures.
    I enjoyed looking at all the pictures. I am grateful for the gift of sight.
    The one with your daughters in the window-just beautiful and creative.
    I liked you on FB.

    • Dolly says

      Praise God, Reenie, that he also has spoken to you! This is the beauty of this PFO community, we serve to feed each other as we break “the bread of our lives” for the other. Thank you so much.

  4. Josephine Pace says

    Fran, Happy Birthday. I only know you from this site but aqm very grateful for everything you have shared with us here.

  5. Trees says

    Indeed we have to be thankful for the gifts we receive from our Gracious Lord.
    My younger brother was born with what they called it at that time (1946) “chicken eyes”.. and a bit of hard of hearing.
    As age takes over , he is now blind and deaf.. with God’s blessings he still thrives to be as independent as he can.
    Thank you Lord for all your gifts and for the work of Fr.Campbell SJ producing this web for all of us. (sorry for my broken English)..

  6. Paul says


    Thank you for this wonderful slideshow. I, too, especially liked the photo of the pumpkins.

    And, Fran, I join with all the others in celebrating your birthday. Hope the next 55 are just as thrilling.


  7. says

    This is wonderful Jane! Thank you for sharing your world with us! I love the mole running in circles….I can relate! I also love yourdaughters waving goodbye!! Just lovely!

  8. Emma says

    I can’t see it. The adobe won’t download onto my device :( How set apart I feel, not being able to participate in the discussion because I can’t see what everyone else is seeing. A moment to reflect on how others without sight must feel in a similar situation and how I could include them by using descriptive language and not hesitate to ask, “Can you see? Let me tell you what’s going on. What we’re all talking about. ”

    Happy Birthday Fran! May you continue to grow in wisdom and be supported by loving family and friends. Oh yeah, and have a humongous cake with lots of candles!! (just don’t set anything on fire!

    • Jane says

      Emma, you have made the most profound comment on this post. What must it be like to not know what everyone else is seeing? Here is what we are talking about: 10 photos taken on a walk. 1. My grown daughters waving from the picture window in our home. 2. A tall, perfectly shaped, bright yellow tree. 3. A memorial plaque on a park bench for a one year old little girl. 4. A vineyard. 5. Lake Michigan in a gale, the waves crashing on the sides of the light house at South Haven. 6. a blind mole, running in circles in the middle of the path, unable to find the way to safety. 7. Poison ivy. 8. A warning sign for a gas pipeline. 9. A crosswalk on a busy street. 10. two bright orange pumpkins

  9. Denise J says

    All of my senses are precious to me, and I am grateful for all of them. But my sight is the only sense with which I feel I have a relationship. Does that sound weird? It does to me. But having lost my sight for a week following surgery as a child, and wearing progressively thickening glasses since I’ve been about 10, my sight is the only sense that I have ever had to do without, and the one whose weakness frustrates me a lot. (My nearsightedness is no more than an inconvenience, not an illness or disability — but you’d think from my griping somedays that it was a real cause for suffering!)

    Thank you, Jane, for the lovely pictures. Thank you for pointing out the beauty in ordinary useful things like “caution” signs, as well as the glories of a tree at its peak color. And for reminding me that the most beautiful thing in my life are the two daughters I get to see every day!

    Denise J

  10. Jane says

    Denise, I’m nearsighted, too. I still remember the first time I wore glasses and could see every leaf on a tree and every stone on the ground. It was so amazing that I spent hours just looking around my yard and house. You are so right about being more in touch with a sense which is less than perfect–I never thought of it that way before.

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