Monday, February 18, 2008

Psalm 27: Sight Problems

"...that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord." (v.4)

I've learned so much from George. He's been my friend for over thirty years. He's a man of insight and determination. He's dealt with some of the harshest realities of life in this fallen world. George is blind. The things that George struggles with in his overt blindness have taught me much about the covert blindness of the heart that every sinner struggles with in some way. There's a way in which George's entire life is shaped by recognition of his blindness and daily strategies to compensate for it. I've learned so much from George.

1. I've learned that there are no more important set of eyes than the eyes of the heart. Yes, George is physically blind, but spiritually he's very good vision. Everyday George exercises that mysterious ability that God gives to his children to see the unseen. Now, to people who have embraced the truth that their entire hope in life is centered in a God of grace and glory who is a spirit, the exercise of this gift of spiritual sight is essential. I've learned from George that your life is always shaped by what your eyes see. If this is true of the physical eyes, how much more is it true of the eyes of the heart?

2. I've learned how important it is to humbly accept your blindness. George's life is one of courage, hope, and accomplishment precisely because he doesn't live in denial. As a young boy, he confronted the sad reality of his blindness and determined that he would do anything in his power to live, fully live, even though he was blind. Scripture is quite clear about the blinding power of sin. Sin is deceitful and guess who it deceives first? I have no problem whatsoever seeing the sin of my wife, children, and friends, but I can be quite surprised when mine is pointed out. Spiritual blindness not only blinds me to the reality of my sin, but it also blinds me to the glory of God that's everywhere around me. God has created his world to be a constant sight and sound display of his power, glory, faithfulness, and love. Yet, the eyes of my heart can be so clouded by the duties of the day, by the busyness of the schedule, and by the problems of life, that I don't see the God of grace whose glory is evident everywhere I look. Like George, I need to accept that I have a significant sight problem that has the power to radically alter the way I live my life.

3. I've learned that you always deal with your blindness in community with others. When George got serious about dealing with his handicap, he welcomed people in his life who had the concern, knowledge and skills to help him. Hebrews 3:13 talks about how we need to "encourage one another daily less we become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." The fact of the matter is this; personal spiritual insight is the product of community. I need people who not only help me to see what I couldn't see without them, but I also need people who will loving help me to admit how blind I actually am and who will teach me how to live, fully live. Even as long as sin remains in me, I will continue to have pockets of spiritual blindness.

4. I've learned to long for 20/20 vision. George has learned to accept his blindness. He's learned to open himself up to a community of help. He's learned how to compensate for his handicap. But, George is not content. He longs for the day when he'll be given eyes that see clearly. He looks expectantly for the day when he'll no longer be blind. In the same way, there should be a deep desire in the heart of every sinner to see, really see. We should be tired of being deceived. We should be weary of being blind again and again to the beauty-display of the glory of God that's everywhere around us and that's meant to fill us with a moment-by-moment sense of his presence and grace. We should be tired of the way our lives are bent and twisted by our blindness; tired of the reality that we wouldn't do and say the things that we do if we were really able to see. And we should live for the day when the eyes of our heart will no longer be blind and, with 20/20 vision we will be welcomed to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord forever!

I've learned so much from George. I've learned that I'm more like him than unlike him, and in a profound way, that's changed my life.


At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, I am hoping you were a friend in NH I used to know. I tried to write something and crap don't know if it went thru. I saw Keith M and you when I was looking up Keith. You I think know, Sandy and I were friends. Never a day, you don't look at ones you lost and love. Looks like you are doing well. Contact me! Carol

At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, Carol Prescott get hold of me......Tried to write something and crap... I was trying to get hold of Keith, and on the internet saw what you guys had....


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