Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Eyes of the Blind opening the Eyes of the Seeing

After a while vision gets taken for granted. Among other things, it just becomes a pretty normal way of life, you wake up every morning with the ability to see and don't really think much about it. Textures, colors, shapes, all seem commonplace.
When something happens and that sight can be taken away, things start to look much different. A couple summers ago I went to the eye doctor to get contacts. I went through the routine exam. I'm not a huge eye exam fan, especially when they give you that glaucoma test, you all know what I am talking about. When they tell you to hold your eye open as they shoot highly pressured air into it. Only this time I had to take the glaucoma test twice. I didn't think anything of it, I probably just blinked (how can you not blink when air is shot into your eye at 120 mph?) The doctor told me, however, that things seemed out of whack. Unusual. Unusual isn't really what anyone likes to hear going to any doctor.
He was concerned. He told me he was worried that I had a congenital type of glaucoma, and that I could potentially go blind within 10-15 years. Wonderful! That would be about the time I'm ready to get married and have kids, so the blindness couldn't come at a better time. I had to come back for more testing.
I sobbed. I don't think I've ever been so saddened about anything having to do with my health before. There would be no more point in backpacking, if you can't enjoy the views. I could forget playing tennis, or riding bike. Of all the things I worried about, I worried about never being able to see words again. I began to plan all the books I had to read. I would just spend the next 10 years reading as much as possible. There was so little time. Everything looked different to me. New. Colors were more beautiful, shapes were more profound, and I noticed every beautiful line in every person's smile.
Obviously I went in for some more testing, and nothing was wrong. I just have weird eyes, or something, but I shouldn't worry about going blind.
I wish I could say that from that point forward, I appreciated my ability to see a lot more, however within a few weeks I got back into my usual routine. The fear of blindness behind me.
Tonight I had another glaucoma type moment. It had nothing to do with my health, and in fact I wasn't even afraid, it was just that I for a few moments remembered not to take my sight for granted.
A new student started coming to youth group. Odd to say since I myself am new. However, this student asked me the most beautiful questions about Jesus. They may seem funny or odd, but I think they were beautiful. The student asked if Jesus could fly, followed by how could Mary be Jesus' mother if she was a virgin (if you remember, a question the virgin herself asked). I was caught off guard. All night I had been talking about mustard seeds and the kingdom of God, obviously deeply spiritual and profound... he wanted to know about how Jesus came into this world and what he was like. Simply. No crazy theologies attached.
I told him how Jesus wanted to experience in its entirety what it means to be human, even the experience of being born and raised. I asked him if it made sense, and he told me that it was just so hard to understand why he would do that.
That's when my eyes were opened, for a few moments, to what it means to see. He hasn't experienced sight yet, true sight. The kind where you see God move in every day things, or hear his voice in the wind, because he isn't there yet, he just wants to know, out of his naive curiosity who Jesus is. Yet, it was he who taught me something tonight. I can read as many books as I want, get a million degrees, and nothing will be as awe instilling as the fact that Christ willingly chose to leave heaven to lay in the womb of a young girl, to entail everything that it means to be human.
I guess in a way, the pastor was taught by the student tonight. The non-believer opening the eyes of the believer, because truly it is an amazing thing to see, even in a small way, and even for a moment, the amazing love of Christ for us.

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