by Senator the Hon. Floyd Morris

It is my fundamental belief that all men are created to serve God. In the process of creating us, God gave us dominion over all things. However, because of self, man allowed sin to separate us from God and the entire world has never been the same since. God, however, is a gracious being who is always willing to forgive and to save mankind from our destructive path. This is why He sent His only “begotten Son” to die and provide a restorative hope for us. The birth of Christ and His subsequent death, provides the opportunity for mankind to be redeemed and truly have dominion over the Earth. However, we have to rely solely on Jesus and this is why Philippians 4:13 is applicable: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

"Looking back, I can unequivocally say that God brought me through the state of blindness because He had great plans in store for me: plans that I could not envisage or imagine."

”Along this restorative process, God has put men and women in places of influence, to provide means of transformation, counsel, support, guidance and motivation for His people. He is always looking for moments to save us so that we can have the blessings of eternity. I can attribute my personal life-story to this.

In 1983, I developed glaucoma, and after six years, my life was transformed into a pit of darkness. The life of a young, brilliant and energetic man was seemingly dismantled by one of the maladies of sin: a major eye disease, glaucoma. When I found myself in this precarious position, it was as though my world had come to an end. Hopes of becoming a Chartered Accountant were dashed. Hopes of driving a car were shattered and the hope of playing football and cricket, two of my favorite games; were also jettisoned. I was forced to question God. I never questioned His existence but I questioned Him as to why this was happening to me? What was I supposed to do that I never did? Recognizing how persons with disabilities are treated in society, what was He going to make happen to me in the future? I went through a period of “living hell” where I felt tormented and depressed.

But when one goes through situations like these, one must appreciate the fact that God allows us to go through the valley in order to take us to the mountain top. The experience of the Israelites in Egypt, when they encountered 400 years of bondage, was a means God used to prepare His people for greater things and for them to witness His awesome powers.

Looking back, I can unequivocally say that God brought me through the state of blindness because He had great plans in store for me: plans that I could not envisage or imagine. Because who in their rightful mind, 25 years ago, would imagine that, one day, a blind man, from a humble family background in the rural Parish of St. Mary, Jamaica, would rise to become the President of the Jamaican Senate? Who could ever have envisaged that, one day, a blind man whose life was transformed by glaucoma, would lead a Jamaican team to negotiate a major convention in the hallowed walls of the most powerful institution on Earth, the United Nations? Who could fathom that one day, this blind man would represent his country in several forums, in over 22 countries of the world? Only God could! 

As I reflect on where I am today, and from whence I came, I realize that God allows things to happen for a purpose. One of my favorite Adventist pastors, Glen Samuels, who hails from the Jamaica Union, once retorted, “Where God puts a full stop, don’t dare place a comma!” I am happy that whilst I was going through my Job-like moments, I never questioned God’s existence. If I did, I am sure He would not have allowed all these blessing to be flowing upon me today, or for me to be transformed into a “steward of influence” in my beautiful country. It is good to question God; but it is foolish to question His existence. To do so is to surrender oneself to eternal damnation and public ridicule.

"God has given so much to me and I know within myself that He is requiring a whole lot from me."

It is said that “to whom much is given, much is required.” God has given so much to me and I know within myself that He is requiring a whole lot from me. I view myself as a steward of His because I could not have accomplished all that I have over the past 25 years without His guiding hand. It was He who guided that nurse from the Port Maria Seventh-day Adventist Church to come and plant the seed of salvation in my life. It was He who led a young Adventist woman to the Jamaica Society for the Blind to volunteer and assist me with my education. It was He who brought me through school, without any major outlay of cash and I know that He did all of this because I had to depend on the brain that He had implanted in me. It was He who caused former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable P. J. Patterson, to appoint me as a senator in 1998, and then promote me to a Minister of State in 2001. It was He who, after seeing me pass through several failed relationships, led me to one of the most beautiful women ever created, at my Sabbath School in Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church, and to marry her in 2011. It is He who continues to guide me, inspite of being blind, to run 4-5 miles a day, with the aid of an assistant. And, it was His guiding hands who, after the Reverend Stanley Redwood resigned as President of the Jamaican Senate, caused my Senate colleagues, and the Most Honourable Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, to repose the confidence in me to assume the fourth most powerful political office in the country, the President of the Jamaican Senate. God is truly awesome and worthy to be praised.

In recognizing my call to service, I spend my time advocating for improvements for social and economic justice for my other brothers and sisters who are disabled. The able-bodied have enough persons to advocate for them in the marketplace. However, very few see fit to think about persons with disabilities. We are often treated as outcasts in society and seen as ones to be pitied and placed on welfare. This is not what God wants for His people. Of the recorded healings in the Bible, out of the 35 documented miracles, 27, (that's 80 percent), were done on persons with various types of disabilities. I, therefore, view my elevation to this high office as a means for God to use me to influence change that would impact in a meaningful way on the lives of persons with disabilities. It was my joy and honour to have been a part of the team that negotiated for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to be the one who affixed my signature on that instrument in March 2007 and saw Jamaica becoming the first country in the world to both sign and ratify the first International Treaty of the new millennium. This year, Jamaica will enact the Disabilities Act that will serve to protect and assure the rights of the approximately 400,000 persons with disabilities on the island. To God be the glory, great things He continues to do. Indeed, I am committed to serve.

Senator the Hon. Floyd Morris, President of the Jamaican Senate