John 9:25 “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”
Luke 18:35-42 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
Thursday morning, my husband and I had an eye doctor’s appointment. I regretfully inform you that I am a terrible patient. I haven’t had an eye exam in at least 10 years. Oh, I used to go to the eye doctor a least once a year. That was when I was practically legally blind. I had the absolute worse vision. I couldn’t even read the big E on the Snellen’s Eye Chart. I guess I had had poor vision for years, but I didn’t get my first pair of glasses until I was in the tenth grade. I dreaded getting those glasses so bad. I was a skinny little thing, not much more than 89 lbs. I had a terrible overbite, and now I was going to be cursed with glasses. I thought I would hate those glasses, but on the ride home the day my new glasses arrived, I vividly remember looking out the window and seeing that the trees actually had individual leaves. Prior to that, the trees appeared to be covered with a green blur, but I couldn’t discern the individual leaves. I had not even realized that I couldn’t see the leaves until that moment. I was amazed! I battled with contacts for a while. We never got along very well. Finally in the late 1990’s, I had Lasik surgery. During the procedure, the doctor told me that everything was going to go black for a second, but then my sight would return. I was not prepared for the absolute darkness that came upon me. It seemed to last an eternity, but suddenly, I could see again. Not only could I see, but after the procedure I could see the clock on the wall all the way across the room and I could read the numbers…without glasses or contacts!
The eye appointment Thursday reminded me briefly of how it feels to have poor vision. The doctor dilated my eyes, and I strained to see clearly for the next few hours. This doctor visit helped me to remember to be thankful for my eyesight. It is one of those very important things that we just seem to take for granted. Consider the beggar mentioned in scripture. There was already a loss of pride and dignity in living the life of a beggar, but can you just imagine the stigma of a blind beggar. He wasn’t able to work. He wasn’t able to provide for a family or for himself. He merely had to rely on the goodness of strangers to care for his needs. Then along comes Jesus. The blind man couldn’t see Him, but he could feel his presence and power. Although he was being told to be silent by those around him, he persisted and insisted on pleading for Jesus’ attention and mercy. He did not presume that Jesus would come, but he knew who He really was. Jesus loved his faith and restored his sight and life to him.
Because of my extremely brief period of blindness, I have an a tiny inkling of the feeling that this blind beggar felt when his sight was restored. I can remember almost holding my breath as panic washed over me for those few seconds of blindness, and I remember the great relief when my sight returned. I was praying the whole time, and I was definitely praising God when my sight came back to me. Now, just imagine this man, possibly blind since birth, who had faith that he could be healed by Christ. Christ healed him, restored his sight, and scripture tells us that he not only praised Christ, he began following Him, and because of his praises, others joined in and praised Christ too.
In 2009, I had a Lasik “tune-up”, and by the grace of God, my distance vision has been 20/20 since then. I require reading glasses to read the small stuff, but praise God, I can see. Today, I recognize that my eyesight is 20/20, but what about my spiritual sight? My eyes required a “tune-up” a few years after my first surgery, and I think that we could all use a tune-up for our spiritual vision. Only this tune-up can’t occur once every few years. It is one that must occur daily. We take our eyesight for granted until we witness a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a beautiful flower covered field, snow on a mountain peak, or any other glorious creation of our God. Likewise, we tend to take our relationship with God for granted until we see Him move big in our lives. Shame on us! God is at work all around us, everyday. He is attentive to the little things just as He attends those big things. If we don’t see Him, it’s probably because we aren’t looking, or we have developed spiritual blindness. Thankfully, to see Him clearly, all we have to do is open our hearts and our eyes. Are you seeing clearly this morning?
I leave you today with words from a song written by Bob Cull, Open Our Eyes Lord. Open our eyes Lord. We want to see Jesus, to reach out and touch Him, and say that we love Him. Open our ears Lord and help us to listen. Open our eyes Lord. We want to see Jesus.