Posted on October 6, 2012
This past April, around mile 24 of the Boston marathon, I noticed a blind man running near me. He wore a vest alerting surrounding runners he was blind, and a guide accompanied him, summarizing the road ahead. It was unseasonably, stinkin’ hot. I was soaked from dumping water over my head and trying to ignore the fact I was about to clock my worst marathon time ever. Survival mode had been activated. When I saw the blind runner, however, something pulled me out of my trance. I wondered how his senses were describing the experience for him, and I replayed my sights of the day … joyful children spraying runners with garden hoses, historical sites of Boston, and faces of new friends I’d met. I also considered what I’d experienced beyond my sense of sight … the intense sun and sweat on my face at the start, the awesomely cold misting tents I ran through, the sounds of Boston voicing its support, and the encouragement that flowed from strangers’ hands as they squeezed my hand when I trudged past. Looking back now, my memories of the experience extend far beyond the things I saw.
… we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Faith involves belief in things we can’t see. God’s all around us, all knowing, all the time; but, He’s invisible. We’re a couple thousand years too late to see Jesus, and I haven’t witnessed the Holy Spirit as a flame on anyone’s head. We do, however, have visual evidence of God … kind acts, another’s peaceful demeanor, nature’s beauty, a baby’s face, and so on. God reveals Himself daily, but my blind spots cause me to miss it most days. I have contacts that work just fine, but my spirit bows to worldly distractions that blind me from God’s message. My examples are endless – someone I know needs help, but they’ve annoyed me in the past so my pride and selfishness blind me from compassion. Or, I feel called to help with a substantial task, but fear blinds me from courage. If I could break out of my worldly trance and catch God’s messages, I’d “see” His love more clearly, respond to His call, and have peace to tuck away for a lifetime. I don’t always know where a message will come from, but the possibilities are unlimited – friends, strangers, my pastor, scripture, music, the radio, prayers, another’s actions – you name it. I’m very thankful for my sight and the countless images I carry with me. But, that is transitory, and I’m trying to “see” the most valuable “sight” of all – God’s love and promise of eternal life. I know it’s there.
Dear God, please help me “see” you more fully and not be blinded by idols of this world.