Post Title: The Blessing of Walking Through Doors

Doors People Seek Out

Travelers often admire the different workmanship found in doors. They love the intricacies of the shape, wood, design, paint, nuts and bolts—and age. Collectors and those knowledgeable often tout the doors in Morocco, Yemen, and all over the Middle East.

While I may enjoy seeing photographs of these doors, I’m not a big fan of the actual thing.

Nope, not me.

Walking through doors has not been fun for around twenty years now. With progressive sight loss, it gets harder all the time.

 I can almost hear my friend, Julio, making some sarcastic retort. “Do you imagine you’re like Casper the Ghost walking through an invisible door-like substance? You do know that is a physical impossibility, don’t you?”

That would bring a smile to my face.

My Challenge with Doors

But doors seriously challenge me. I have numerous anecdotes about how hard I find them to be.

First, I have to find a door. Separate them from other parts of the building—bricks, aluminum siding or worse yet, glass panels. For starters. when I step outside my car, I have to orient myself, let my eyes adjust to different lighting and zoom in on a typically glass frame, locate the handle, then push or pull to proceed. Doing so takes intense concentration. That’s the typical door. Not an antique door or anything unusual. If I’m inside, I need to distinguish between shiny corridors and shiny metal. What’s obvious to others is often grainy, murky or blurry to me. Once I’m inside or outside, I wait for my eyes to adjust again. I push on all kinds of substances before I find the actual door.

Observers are mystified by my prolonged process. If friends accompany me, they seem compelled to point out the doors rather than watch me solve “the door dilemma” as I call it. It takes determination to go through unknown doors.

I rarely give up though. My process works. It just takes time. For my friends, and even some strangers, the wait takes too long and it’s easier to show me where they are.

The Right Doors

I recently heard the spiritual phrase “learning to walk through the right door at the right time.” Ha! Story of my life. With my delayed timing, I might just miss it all together. As if reading my mind, the speaker continued, “Sometimes when we refuse to walk through a door God opens, it’s closed forever.” He said, “You will miss God’s best for you.”

When I look back on my life, I can see a few doors God warned me should remain closed. Not only had he firmly shut them, he had locked them. But in my stubbornness, I picked the lock and entered. Later on, the door(s) slammed in my face.

Luckily, today I have more discernment and I’m working on the obedience part of walking through doors God points out. It’s so much easier than my trial-and-error approach. I’ve learned God will gladly guide me to the door, just as my friends do the physical doors in my life.

The Supermarket Door

Take for example, my current job. I looked for over a year for an online teaching position. My education and training should have made me a perfect candidate for any of those jobs. But those doors wouldn’t budge.

But, much to my surprise, the door to job at the supermarket flew open. A physical job where I depend on my faulty sight!

Come again?

God, are you sure?

I have a Master’s Degree. They take high school graduates. Am I overqualified?

Apparently not in God’s eyes. The door remained open. I hesitantly walked through it.

God has a purpose for me to walk through this particular door at this exact time in my life—and it seems to have to do with my sight loss.

Of All things.

It doesn’t make sense for me to take a job that relies on sight, speed and dexterity. I am legally blind. I have NO peripheral vision. That makes me slower than other cashiers.

But there you go. God can see aspects in this job I miss—and I don’t mean physically.

I’m talking about the fruit of my labor. My willingness to put myself out there and do my best in an unstable environment.

Since I’ve started writing my memoirs, I’ve always tried to be approachable. To build a bridge between the sighted and well, me, a blind person. The impetus behind my acceptance of my situation has always been my faith.

Now God has placed me in a position that intersects with people from all walks of life.

How Will I Respond?

I try to be approachable. Take the mystery out of sight loss.  I laugh. I joke. I protest. I fume (out loud, at times). And boy do I apologize!

I’m real. When strangers deal with me, they have to walk through a door they aren’t sure they want to go through. It’s not always comfortable. Or convenient.


Sometimes I say the silliest things like “I’m not wearing my pin today—” as if customers automatically know I own a pin—”But I have low vision and I don’t know what it is or where ‘it’s right there’ is.”

One time I had just placed a large container of eggs in a paper bag. A minute later, I knocked over a can of beans resting on my scales onto the eggs.

The customer threw up his arms and said, “I knew that was going to happen.”

“Ohhh. Are they broken?”

“All of ‘em.”

I sighed. “We should call this Grocery Store Bloopers.”

He didn’t crack a smile. I couldn’t hold mine back.

“Would you like me to call my coordinator and get you some more eggs?” It was a given, but I thought I would ask anyway.

“Please do.” He ran a hand through his hair and looked down at his watch.

I picked up the intercom phone. “Coordinator to Register 11. Coordinator to Register 11, please.” We sometimes give the purpose and I had a strong temptation to add in my perky voice, “Rush two dozen eggs my way!” but I held my tongue. It didn’t seem as generic as ‘Manager Override” for a health card discount.

Giving Back—Not in a Good Way

A while back, I had a customer that was not happy with the way I packed her groceries. She kept finding fault with the way I was doing things.

Finally, I spoke up, “Are you in a bad mood today?” (That’s not polite, I know).

The customer looked at me “No, I’m just highly irritated.” (She meant by me).

I sweetly said, “I can tell.”

Later, when thinking back over that incident, I did repent. But sometimes I can’t hold back. (I’m trying to do better).

The “Listener”

Sometimes our customers want to vent. Their complaint has nothing to do with us, as cashiers. But we’re like bar tenders, minus the liquor license. I usually keep nodding. One customer was angry the self-service register wouldn’t scan her products. Consequently, she had to gather them all up and take them to a register manned by a cashier. To top it off, the coordinator who wasn’t able to fix the self-service register took her personal recyclable grocery bag! She was irate.

Oh no! You’ve come to the ONE register with a vision-impaired cashier.

I said, “Wow. I hear you. So sorry you had a bad experience.” In a quieter voice, I stated, “I hope I won’t make any mistakes” She didn’t hear me. She was much too pre-occupied with the loss of the bag. But, actually, cashing her out terrified me! What were the chances I wouldn’t make a mistake under pressure?

I made it nearly to the end. Then her ham didn’t have a bar code.  She told me to scan it with my wand. “So sorry, but there is nothing to scan. There is no code. I’ll have to call a coordinator.”

That upset her more. “It’s one of the 5$ for $25 meats.” Her voice took on shrill overtones as she thought me unbelievably dense. “You rang up the other meat items. What do you get when you subtract $20 from $25? FIVE! It’s FIVE dollars.”

I kept my cool. “I need to scan an item number, not enter a price.”

“It’s FIVE dollars,” she moaned. “Just FIVE! Anyone can see that.”

Apparently not a vision-impaired employee who knew the correct way to ring up an item.

My coordinator came over and had to run to the deli to get a price for the ham. She returned with a ham with a bar code. Seeing the customer’s impatience, she took over and cashed her out. “You’re good,” she said before leaving.

But she didn’t give her the ham.

 “Ham. Give me my ham!” the customer screeched.

I was trying to figure out what she meant by ‘Give me my hand!” I didn’t have the chance to ask her before she grabbed the wrapped piece of meat off my scanner and slung it into her cart, leaving in a grand huff. I heard her mumble something that sounded like “… Never shopping here again!”

If she had had been steering a car instead of a cart, she would have left me behind in cloud of dust!

The next customer said, “Some people want to work.”

I smiled, having no idea what she meant.

… until that evening when I shared the story with Julio. “Amy, the next customer was defending you. She had obviously read your pin (Vision Impaired Legally blind).

By the way, his running commentary throughout my story with the previous customer, as usual, made me giggle.

 “You couldn’t get her meaning from context? Ham … hand. Did you think she wanted you to read her fortune or something?” he quipped.

“Oh my,” I said wiping away the tears of laughter. “I almost made it,” I groaned. “I tried so hard.”

Praise God!

God has given me such a rich array of people to meet! And what wonderful co-workers at the Front End. If they felt uncomfortable around a vision-impaired person when I first arrived, they certainly do not now. They’re so quick to help out.

Every day after my shift finishes, when I look for the door leading back to the parking lot, God seems to remind how exciting obedience can be.

It’s a bit unbelievable that I work where I need my sight and hearing to operate efficiently – when neither are reliable. BUT …

God makes it all possible.

And it’s such a delight!

God can see the whole picture, Retinitis Pigmentosa, my eye condition, may cut out the extraneous details. But leaves the center intact. And God works out the details …

No, stepping through this door doesn’t make much earthly sense.

But neither did bringing down the walls of Jericho by marching around the city and blowing the trumpet seven times …

Let there be no mistake.

All praise and glory goes to God!



What doors have you recently walked through? How did/ do you know if it’s the right door? Answer in the comments below.


You have just read “The Blessing of Walking Through Doors” by Amy L. Bovaird. © May 26, 2022. All Rights Reserved.

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