What a singer who couldn’t see showed me about blindness

By Ruth Limkin

There were few dry eyes amongst those who saw it on television the other night. I’m talking, of course, of the performance of La Vie en Rose on ‘The Voice’. It’s a beautiful song, sung so well by seventeen year old Rachael Leahcar. You can see it online here.

The concept of “The Voice’ is that singers perform in blind auditions hoping to be chosen by at least one of the four judges. During the audition, judges sit with their back to the contestant so they can only hear them, not see them. If one or more of the judges choose that contestant, they’ll press a button during the performance which swivels their chair around. The judge turning around signals to the contestant that they’ve been chosen.

During Rachael’s stunning performance, which moved many to tears, all four judges turned around. What the judges didn’t yet know, unlike those watching at home, was that Rachael was legally blind.

So after initial remarks from the judges, who were assuming Rachael clearly knew that she had been successful, Rachael introduced herself and clarified the situation. She said, “I just have to say before we go on, I don’t know if anyone turned around, because I’m legally blind.”

Cue more tears from those watching and from the judges, particularly Delta Goodrem who was reminded of her own former health struggles.

As I watched the replay a few times, I wondered how many of us go through life not really sure ‘if anyone turned around’.

How many times have we felt failure, when others assumed we saw success?

How many times have we felt fear, when others assumed we saw confidence?

How many times have we felt emptiness, when others would have been sure we saw abundance?

When our heart is blinded by pain, by regret, by unforgiveness or by selfishness, it makes it hard to see who we were truly designed to be or the difference we can make.

However, if we’re willing to reveal our vulnerability, and acknowledge our need for help, then the very words we long to hear are quickly spoken.

“You do have greatness within you”. “Who you are matters”. “Everyone turned around”.

I truly wish Rachael Leahcar every success. But perhaps even more so, I wish that for you – each and every day.



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