When a mother who had taken cocaine and oxycodone during her pregnancy gave birth in May 2001, her baby boy was born at just 26 weeks and weighed a mere one pound, 12 ounces. Christopher Duffley was so frail his chances of survival at first were very slim. During those critical evenings, his aunt prayed for God’s help.
Christopher survived but faced numerous challenges, including both blindness and autism. At just 5 months old he was removed from his parents and placed in foster care. His aunt soon adopted him.
Though Christopher did not begin talking until first grade, a teacher realized he had perfect pitch when he was only 4. Six years later, Christopher sang “Open the Eyes of My Heart” at his church. Someone posted a video, which has since been seen by millions. His aunt described her nephew’s impact saying, “When Christopher sings ‘Open the Eyes of My Heart,’ he teaches us to not see everything with our eyes, but to see things the way God sees things through our heart.”
When “Our Daily Bread” shared Christopher’s story in their Oct. 11, 2023, devotional, they referred to the Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:18, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (NIV)
Paul’s prayer for people’s hearts to be “enlightened” has been at least partially answered through Christopher. God used this young man to show those who can see, how God can use an autistic blind child to encourage and bless others.
At his birth, Christopher seemed to have truly little going for him and little to look forward to. Everything in his first years seemed to point to his limited potential. Despite that, God used Christopher to instill hope in millions.
It is easy to assume God can use our talents to bless others. While God often uses our abilities, he can also use our disabilities. The Bible promises, “God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28, NLT)
Even if you think you have little to offer God and others, scripture and Christopher Duffley’s life clearly demonstrate that he can use all of us in wonderful and sometimes miraculous ways.
To see Christopher’s inspirational story for yourself, take a moment to watch him on YouTube.