Tom Sullivan has been physically unable to see since birth. Throughout his life, however, the author and entertainer has become accustomed to finding spiritual insight while coming to grips with his blindness. In his latest memoir, As I See It, he explains how he’s learned to look at life from a different view.
“Most people live in a world in which they are looking at how others affect them, rather than how they affect others,” said Sullivan, who lists television shows such as M*A*S*H and WKRP in Cincinnati to his acting credits along with a seven-year stint as a reporter on ABC’s Good Morning America.
“What matters is, am I operating in God’s likeness by taking a loving look at other people I meet? That’s how I have tried to live. It sounds cliche, but I was once blind and now I see.”
Sullivan, 65, admits his blindness produced a strong bitterness early on toward God. That changed after he was radically saved in 1973, shortly after his then 3-year-old daughter, Blythe, fell into the family swimming pool. Sullivan dove into the pool and heard air bubbles, then went down nine feet to find Blythe and was able to resuscitate her.
“Anyone else wouldn’t have heard them; not because they couldn’t, but because they just wouldn’t,” he says. “Miracles happen when ordinary people like you and me, through grace, do extraordinary things.”
Sullivan engages in many activities that people of sight take for granted. He regularly enjoys downhill skiing and averages 90 for an 18-hole round of golf. These days, he can be found on the corporate lecture circuit, where he never misses an opportunity to tell others about Jesus: “I’ve made the decision to articulate and witness my faith in front of these companies. It’s not always favorably received by some companies because they say this isn’t the place for it. But I’ve chosen to do it anyway. You have to keep putting it out there—that’s frontline faith.”
Indeed, Sullivan wouldn’t see it any other way.