I am legally blind without the help of contacts or glasses and my vision impairment is near-sightedness. I am rendered useless if I can't find my glasses, especially in the middle of the night. I stumble around with my arms outstretched, hands feeling for the wall to guide me to the light switch or a door entry that is familiar. Many times I sport bruises on my hips and elbows from misjudging the distance around corners, and my husband, Curt, and I often laugh at how my lack of sight makes me so klutzy. Once I'm safely in bed, I can hold a book up to my nose and read each word clearly, but if you were to take the book from the nearness of my nose and bring it farther out, everything becomes an indistinguishable blur. Sometimes I feel like I am near-sighted in life too.
My super far-sighted picture of life is crystal clear - to live my life on earth so it makes a difference for God's eternal kingdom. And the book on my nose near-sighted picture of what that looks like in the nitty gritty of my daily life and how I relate to my kids, my husband and my friends is also pretty clear. It's the in-between portion of life that I find myself fumbling for my glasses and trying to find some clarity and definition through the blur.
I've been studying Luke 18 over the past couple of days and have found so many application points to where I am in life right now. Luke relates Jesus' conversation with the rich young man who wanted to follow Jesus, but when push came to shove, chose his material possessions over true surrender. We've been house hunting for the past 9 months in a market that is more expensive than the one we left behind. We know the gifts of hospitality God has given us and we know what we want in a home, but there are days when I can see myself clinging tightly to MY idea of a dream home and not trusting God to lead us to HIS idea of a dream home, and the picture is blurry.
My Bible commentary expanded on the rich man's sadness by saying, "Jesus was touching the very basis of the man's security and identity. The man didn't understand that he would be even more secure if he followed Jesus than he was with all his wealth. Jesus asks us all to get rid of anything that has become more important than God." I see clearly the hollowness in my neighbor's eyes as she grieves over the emptiness left by the untimely death of her 15 year old son. I see clearly a soldier's wedding ring resting in the center of his water-logged, war-battered combat Bible on his widow's coffee table. I see clearly four blonde heads of tossled hair and a big part of my identity reflected in four sets of crystal blue eyes. I see clearly strength, leadership, masculinity, Godliness, love and security in the warm embrace of my husband. And then the picture gets blurry when I honestly wonder if those tossled blonde heads and the man who wraps me in security have become more important than God.
Further on, Luke tells about how Jesus spoke plainly to his disciples about his impending death and resurrection, but the significance and meaning of His words were lost on them. The picture was all blurry to them and didn't become clear until the events actually took place. And I wondered how often Jesus is speaking PLAINLY to me and I just look at Him with a blank unseeing stare, shake my head, and say, "Sorry Jesus. I just don't get it. This just doesn't make sense. This is NOT how the picture is supposed to look." I'm sure Jesus laughs out loud at my blindness and then waits for the perfect time to re-reveal Himself to me. All of a sudden, things make sense and I can see Him clearly through the circumstance of my life that were so confusing at the time.
Chapter 18 concludes with the story of a blind beggar who heard commotion and found out that Jesus was coming down the road. Throwing caution to the wind, he yelled, screamed and cried out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." His choice of words struck me as odd. If I was completely blind and knew a Miracle Healer was within ear shot, I would be screaming, "Hey! Over here. Fix my eyes. I need Lasix." So I broke down the beggar's words. By giving Jesus the title "Son of David," the beggar acknowledges that he sees clearly Jesus is the promised Messiah. By asking Jesus to "have mercy on me" instead of "heal me," the beggar acknowledges that his need for spiritual healing is greater than his need for physical sight. And the beggar's passion, his desire for healing, stopped Jesus dead in His tracks. Jesus asks the beggar a thoughtful question in verse 41: "What do you want me to do for you?" to which the beggar replied, "LORD, I want to see."
I sat in my chair, squinting at the unseasonably hot autumn sun, and reflected on the rich man, the deft disciples and the blind beggar. I thought about the parts of my life that I see clearly and the parts that are a big blur. I thought about the bumps, bruises and scars I have from fumbling around as spiritual klutz. And I prayed, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. Open my eyes to see my life through Your eyes. My sin through Your eyes. My family through Your eyes. My neighbors through Your eyes. My world through Your eyes. Bring clarity to the parts of my life that are blurry. Heal me of my blindness. LORD, I want to see."