Central Idea: We must allow Jesus to come and touch our blindness.
Close your eyes.
Try to imagine what it might be like to be born blind. Imagine never having seen shapes or colors. Imagine never seeing your spouse, or your children, or your parents, or your friends. Imagine never seeing a sunrise or a sunset. Imagine never seeing green trees or blue sky or a blazing fire. Imagine never even having any sort of idea about all of those things. Imagine having to try to find your way through life. Imagine even the easiest and simplest of tasks being difficult, if not impossible. Just imagine.
You can open your eyes now. Kinda relieved aren’t you?
What an amazing gift it must have been to give a person eyesight, as we see in our gospel story this morning. A total change! Everything in your life, everything, would be different, very different. It is an amazing story we hear, and yet, it seems that it has very little to do with us, for after all we can see.
Blindness comes in many forms.
I once talked to a man who was pro-life, no problem there. But he was so taken by the evil of abortion, so angered by the injustice of it, that he confided to me that he felt like killing those who disagreed. Uh? Say what? Sir, I have a bit of a problem with that.
I once taught a student who didn’t believe in God. How could God exist with all the bad things in the world? Yet this student was incredibly intelligent, came from a great family, had many talents and was in good health.
I once knew a girl who, in a word, hated herself. She wondered if she was worthy of anyone’s love and if she had anything to live for. The thing was she was immensely talented and smart. She was a stunningly beautiful girl, one of the most popular girls in school, yet she couldn’t see it at all.
Blindness, blindness, blindness. People who failed to see. What is even worse are those folks who know that they are blind and choose to remain so. The very limit of human blindness is to glory in being blind.
The obvious lesson for us this morning is to look at the blindness in our lives and allow Jesus to touch that today. Maybe we are blind to God’s love in our lives. Maybe we are blind to the people around us. Maybe we are blind to our own shortcomings and sins, maybe we are blind to our talents and blessings. Maybe we are blind to our prejudices against others. One of the things I have been thinking a lot about with this virus plague and social distancing is this: are we missing the fact that this could be a great opportunity to focus on things we rarely focus on, to enrich our lives? I know this is a difficult time and I don’t mean to minimize the economic and health problems we are facing, but when before or again in our lives will we have an opportunity like this?
I’ve heard that when astronauts go into space they come back changed. Having seen the whole world as one big place, with no borders and a thin layer of atmosphere keeping us all alive, they are no longer hung up on personal achievement and enjoyment but more concerned about humanity and the environment. It is called the Overview Effect. This is our overview moment. Every human on earth is facing the same scourge. Maybe now is our planet’s moment to realize -absolutely- that we are all in this together.
A few years back one of my students returned from working on a Medical Mission in Honduras. He told of a young girl who lived in the mountainous region. She suffered from incredibly bad eyesight and an eye doctor from Washington Missouri checked her out and finally fixed her up with some corrective glasses. She put the glasses on and then went for a walk with the doctor and my student. After walking along a trail for a bit, she suddenly stopped and began to sob uncontrollably. The doctor asked her what was wrong. She tearfully explained that in all seventeen years of her life, she never realized that she lived in the mountains. She was overcome by the beauty all around her.
Allow God to touch your blindness today, let God give you sight and see the beauty, the beauty that has always surrounded you.