The blind (Not the blindfolded): What’s the difference?
I had a childhood friend who accidentally blinded himself in the right eye when he 10. It was a fluky thing that would make you cringe if you heard the details. But still having good vision in his left eye, he was able to adapt and get along just fine. I met him a year or so after it happened, and never knew the difference until he shared it with me.
I found the idea of blindness intriguing and would ask him about it on occasion. I wanted to know what it felt like, but he’d always give the same answer. Waving a hand in front of his right eye, he’d say, “man, I can’t see out of this eye, that’s all I can tell you.” He did that every time until one day I provoked him. Using his mom’s umbrella as a cane, I closed my eyes, tapped the pointy end back and forth along the floor, and pretended to be blind. I know it sounds horrible, but we were 12 year old boys. He looked at me sarcastically and said yep–that’s it, Kevin!
He knew I was teasing him, but I insisted that is wasn’t far from the truth (as if i knew concretely from this). He said “okay, what exactly do you mean?” I said “well, I think being blind is like being in darkness, like being in a cave, what else could it be?” He stopped me and said “Kevin, your wrong. It’s not like closing your eyes or being in a cave at all. When you close a perfectly good set of eyes, you still see.”
He said, “even if you close them as tight as you can and blindfold them 10 times, you’re still going to see SOMETHING.” I thought he was kidding, so I persisted! He finally said “okay think of it like this… If you had no eyes, what would you see? Or better yet, try watching TV out of your kneecaps and then tell me what you see.”
At first it didn’t sink in – I said “what are you talking about?” He said “trying to see from a totally blind eye is like trying to see out of your kneecap – you don’t see anything, including darkness. I see NOTHING with my blind eye but you see darkness with your closed eyes. There is a difference.” That was it for me – exactly the kind of insight I knew he had, but wouldn’t give without a push – and I have never forgotten it!
He was as normal as any other kid, but he knew something extra, and his perspective was incredibly mature. He could FULLY comprehend blindness without being fully blind. That is amazing and rare! Yet it is exactly what God has called us to do.
1 Corinthians 9:22-23
22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Not so easy! We naturally interact with people based on our view rather than God’s. The world bends our perspective out of shape so quickly that it remains unfit to guide us. For example, I recently had someone mischaracterize my actions based on tidbits of information, and it was very painful! The world tells me I have a “right” to defend myself, and that may be true; but God tells me to do what is “right” above what I have a “right” to do!
This is a fresh wound for me personally and I want to set it straight right now. But if my entire aim is focused on defending my character, then the spiritual needs of my accuser get lost in the shadow of my pride. There is nowhere else to go with the relationship, except to end it. And that kind of attitude could literally keep hidden the difference between eternal life and death for that person. That’s a BIG deal to our God!
If we can just remember my friend’s lesson that blind people see nothing, it will recalibrate our compass so we can love them humbly from ground up. That often means quietly forgiving and being mature enough to patiently love them – above their immaturity. It gives pause to our emotion and allows God to work slowly and deeply. We pause, God begins, we pray, God mends. I’m convinced this is the secret to both lasting forgiveness and missionary success. Meeting people where they are IS comprehending their blindness without being fully blind.
Are we truly attempting to meet people where they are, or just making assumptions?
Scriptures relevant for today:
“To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
Prayer for humility toward the blind:
Father thank you for your revelation, we humbly address you today as King, Lord, Provider, and the Light of men. You are welcome here Father – welcome in our hearts – please come Holy Spirit and crush us under the weight of your presence. Draw from us the rich metal that you began with and burn away the dross that sticks like tar from the dirty roads we’ve walked. Today we seek your face above all – give us more of you. Break our hearts for the lost and blind who have no eyes to see you. You are the lamp to our feet and light to our path. Come Lord and overcome the darkness that plays with our heart and tranquilizes our faith. We Praise you in the name of Jesus, Amen.
On a personal note:
We are well today and rejoice in God’s favor, mercy and grace. Though we are learning to live one day at a time, we are now able to physically see God’s hand holding us in place. We have the richness of clarity and benefit of course correction. We dare never to put our hope in anything but Him. And when this is in order, He certainly uses His people as today we’ve have witnessed it! Matthew 6:33 is not a suggestion but the only way He desires for us to live. I praise Him that we are learning this now and witnessing His word manifest itself.
The road turns ahead and makes it impossible for us to see how long this will last, but we can find encouragement in the Word and in the friends God has given us for eternity. We have a good report that God has taken care of our immediate needs and a few long term needs. We are eternally grateful to Him and the willing vessels that He has used. This has been a time of deferred hope and our hearts have been sick. But once we see His hand gently move, the lights brighten, the sky becomes more blue, and we know that we know!! His Word is TRUE.
My wife went to a women’s meeting at church Saturday and was edified by it –we received many good prayers! Our girls are doing well in the first semester of home school. We can already see signs that they are going to excel. And that is a further confirmation that we are be faithful to His will. They are the little jewels of His next generation and have no choice but to excel and become warriors. I hate to even think about what they’ll face as they walk out their faith, but they’ll be ready!
I have spent some additional time forwarding resumes and filling out online applications. My heart is bound up in writing and speaking about faith to anyone who will listen, but as of yet God has not opened a door for this work to cover our needs. He is faithful and I will follow where He leads.
Please pray for us in this endeavor. If you have signed up to receive the daily posts, I will gladly add you to my daily prayer list. We need to pray for each other.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to read these posts, you are and inspiration to us!
Contact me if you need prayer or encouragement: firstname.lastname@example.org