When our daughter began to lose sight, her world changed. Though she perceived light, the light itself blinded her because of the compromised condition of her eyes. Shapes lost distinct edges and faces ran together. Words drowned on pages without hope of rescue.
But what she couldn’t see with her eyes, she began to “see” with her ears and her heart. She learned that sight is a whole-body experience.
Jesus spoke against the unnecessary blindness that had disabled his church family, the Jews. He quoted Isaiah’s charge that they had been blinded so completely it affected their hearts. They couldn’t see because they wouldn’t see.
I fear there is a blinding today that makes us undersee what should be plain to see. Some would use this blindness to expose the injustice and immorality of others. But Jesus never played the anonymous “other” card. His call was specific and too personal. So when I read his warning, I look inside me.
Where is my blindness? Where I am too quick to point a finger at my culture’s depravity and pat myself on the back with Pharisaical arrogance that “I am not like other people.” Pride blinds more quickly than a disease robs sight.
What if we used this journey to the cross to surrender the right to compare, point fingers, or choose our own standards for tolerance and morality? What clarity could we have and what vision if we used our sight to look at ourselves through God’s eyes and not just our own.
When Jesus healed physically blinded people; it changed their lives, gave them freedom and a story to share. But the healing of the blind heart is harder. Not for Jesus; for us. We see what we want without processing any vision loss.
In another hopeful story, a stumbling, desperate, persistent blind man pushed through the crowd that tried to silence him. He had to get to Jesus. Interesting, he didn’t ask for healing first. He asked for mercy. Important order.
“What do you want me to do for you,” Jesus asked the blind man.
“Lord, I want to see.”
I need to pray that prayer.
Lord, I want to see. I want to be done with seeing another’s blindness without allowing You to call out my own. I want to see my pride as the self-righteous arrogance that blinds me from addressing it. I want to see fear as a self-conscious preoccupation that blinds me from your all-power. I want to fall on my knees and cry for mercy for my denial.
It is a journey to the cross for sure. It is a journey of surrender of things that aren’t as general as we would like them to be. But it is a journey that I am determined to take.
After all, Easter waits.
2018 Lent Scripture Reading*
March 21- March 27
Wednesday: John 12:40, Mark 10:51
He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
Ask Jesus to help you see your heart. What blinds you? Fear? Worry? Doubt? Loss? Denial? Then, let Jesus replace your blindness with his sight.
Thursday: Philippians 2:1-2
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
With new eyes, look for God’s encouragement, comfort, fellowship, tenderness, and compassion today. Gratitude for these gifts will help you see people in your world with more compassion.
Friday: Jeremiah 33:3
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
What does God want to tell you if you listened more? What could you see about yourself and your world? Let today be a listening day. .
Saturday: Psalm 119:18
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
What could you see if you gave God permission to open your eyes? What detail about His law have you have not understood as important? Let God open your eyes all the way to your heart.
Palm Sunday: John 12: 13; Psalm 118:19-20
They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!”
Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter.
As you worship today, think about the gate of righteousness God has opened for you. Enter with your praise and thanksgiving. Find your voice for the week.
Monday: Psalm 36:7a, 9
How priceless is your unfailing love! . . . For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light
As you prepare for this week leading to Easter, reflect on God’s unfailing love to you. How do you understand it as “the fountain of life?” How does God’s revelation through Jesus help you see differently?
Tuesday, Psalm 71:1a, 2
In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge . . . Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me.
Are you using God’s refuge to protect you from what you don’t need to live with? How complete is your deliverance? These are important questions as you journey to Easter.
*To download this week's scripture readings, click here.
To download last year's daily readings, click here.
If you have any trouble, contact me here.