Harriet is going blind. No optometrist or ophthalmologist can help her. There are no remedial injections or salves available for her that she has not tried. There are no medicines or corrective surgeries that she has not undergone. Her sight is fading fast, and this fact is killing her.
She lies awake at night wondering what she will no longer be able to see. She loves the beauty in nature. She will soon be a great-grandmother. Will she be able to see her new child? She agonizes over how she will take care of herself, her home. She will no longer drive which to her means a loss of freedom. She feels hopeless and alone.
There are varying degrees of blindness, ranging from visual impairment and the ability to perceive light or peripheral images to seeing nothing at all. Blind people are more prone to accidents than sited folks. Blind individuals learn to rely on direct contact, voice intonation, and word choice within a relationship as they do not have the benefit of reading facial expressions and gestures.
Physical blindness is similar to spiritual blindness with one exception: If you are physically blind you are aware of this predicament, much like my friend Harriet. If you are spiritually blind, however, you are blinded to the fact that you are spiritually blind. What you don't see, what you cannot see, is your own blindness itself! Now that's a real dilemma.
I was once spiritually blind. To combat the darkness, I lit my own fires. Lighting fires actually works for a while and can be quite satisfying. It's a bit exhausting though (where is the wood when you need it? ...and who has the matches?....) I not only lit fires as a stopping point, but I also set flame to torches to light my own way as I traveled. The sad truth is that I never rested when I stopped, and following my own torch only led me to torment (Isa. 50:11). The ultimate truth, however, is that torment can be the catalyst to the cure for spiritual blindness.
Are you tormented? Chasing the wind? Tired of igniting torch after torch? Feeling utterly exhausted? Lying down? Well, you may be close to receiving your sight by the direct contact of a source outside yourself and your own abilities. The Bible tells us that "The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them (Isa. 9:2). Further Jesus Himself proclaimed: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
There is a mystery to salvation through the atoning death of Jesus Christ. And there may be a greater mystery to the transference of Light of the world to Light inside me. It really is amazing grace to the tune of "I was once lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see." And for our dear Harriet, the blessing of having the eyes of Christ is truly what it means to see, physical blindness notwithstanding.
Christianity is not a cake-walk and has never claimed to be. We will all have troubles in this life to be sure. Externally and conditionally, we may experience "death" (in all variations); but internally and inherently, we must know what it means to live.
If I make my bed in *Sheol, behold, You are there.
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