The Apostle Paul is one of those persons who needed to have a dramatic encounter with Jesus Christ in order to recognize God re-directing
his life. Many people have such an conversion because of the depth of sin and degradation to which they have fallen and from which they need to be delivered. Were you rescued by God from such a life-style? Have you fallen into old patterns and need to be restored to a relationship that can be truly glorious?
St. Paul is so religious, so moral, so intensely devoted to God that he is unable to see the new thing that God is doing because he is so zealous for the tradition that he knew so well. He had to be blinded by the Person of Christ in order to see God at work. He remained in darkness for three days. Have you ever found yourself literally blind for a period of time? Did it produce spiritual fruit?
The day that brought the greatest challenge to me concerning my sight was the experience I had in Montreal of what felt like a sharp object
pricking on my eyeball that made the pain excruciating. As usual, it was in the middle of the night that all of this occurred, and I had to be led by the hand, with both eyes closed because of the extreme discomfort involved. To be whisked away by taxi to a hospital emergency room created an experience of blindness that I will never forget.
Totally dependent on the friends who accompanied me, and incapable of filling out forms or answering coherently because of the extreme pain, I understood just what medical emergencies involve, long before I was a hospital chaplain in training. For several days after, I wore a patch over one eye and had to tolerate the curious looks, outright stares and questions. My disability was temporary, but it opened the door to new levels of empathy for those for whom it is a permanent state. Do you know any disabled persons? Are you aware of the strength it takes to meet their particular challenges in a world such as ours?
Since that time, I have come to think of my eyes as a valuable gift that I cannot take for granted. The ability to see the beauty of
creation and the love in the eyes of family members and friends, to move freely and independently without fear are all blessings so easily overlooked. My respect and admiration for those who live with visual
disabilities skyrockets when I see them conduct themselves with courage and dignity, navigating daily obstacles the sighted overcome so easily: the jagged curb, the crowded pedestrian crossings and blocked passageways.
Each of life’s experiences possesses the potential to give insight and create foresight for the future. Hindsight is often painfully
gained, while revelation from the Spirit may be received quite effortlessly. Spiritual blindness is the most dangerous disability of all as it often wreaks havoc on the life of all persons connected to the individual.
Let our prayer be: Lord, heal the eyes of our faith and help us to see your glory in us and around us. Amen.
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