March 27, 2020

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” John 9:24-27

When we read familiar Bible passages such as the story of Jesus healing the blind man found in John 9, we may have trouble connecting to the stories we read. In our modern world, blindness is a disease that we may not be able to identify with. While many of us may have vision problems, advances in vision care have provided an ability to see to those who in the past may not have been able to experience clear sight. For those who suffer from hearing impairment, hearing aids are now so tiny and powerful most people are no longer aware when they encounter someone who suffers from hearing loss.

While we may be able to correct many of the physical issues that give us problems seeing and hearing, we continue to struggle with spiritual blindness and hearing loss. We have easy access to teachings for how we are to live life and treat others in the many Bibles we have in our homes or on our electronic devices. We live in a country where we are free to worship as we choose. We know who our Lord is. We know what our Lord has done for us. We know, but we act as though we have no clue who God is or what he tells us to do. We go through the motions of being a follower of Christ but lack the clear vision to see, and thus live, the life God has planned for us.

I have discovered in my personal life that the times when I cannot see or hear God in my life are the times when I insist on doing things my way. I convince myself that my way is better than God’s way. I think I know as much, or more, than God does about what is best for me. Lovingly, God puts people in my path to help guide me, but I often disregard the guidance willingly provided for me. God speaks to me, but I elect not to listen. He promises that I can talk to him at any time and any place and He will listen, but I reject His offer. I lack the faith and the trust to believe what He tells me through his word. I am determined to do it all on my own. When things go awry, as they most often do, I become dejected and wonder where God has gone.

The answer is simple. God is always there. He loves us, sinners though we are. God desires for us to see clearly, to hear without any static interference. He longs for a relationship with us. The most familiar hymn of all, “Amazing Grace,” sums things up best: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

Friends take off your dirty glasses; remove the cotton wads from your ears. See, hear, enjoy and delight in all God gives to us. There is no better time than this Lent season to rediscover who you are…but even more important to remember whose you are!

Our Father, thank you for loving us. Thank you for showing us who you are through the gift of your word. Thank you giving us all the tools we need to live a life that glorifies you. Help us to appreciate the blessings you provide us. Help us to share our knowledge of you with those who do not yet know you. Make us see those in need, hear those who suffer, and then guide us to respond with acts of kindness and grace. Remove the obstacles in our lives that prevent us from fully serving you. Help us grow to be the disciples you call us to be. Continue to guide us to be faithful servants who love and care for others by following the example of your love and care for us. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Vickie Gray

About the Contributor:
Vickie Gray is a member of Nazareth Presbyterian Church. She currently serves as Clerk of Session. She and her husband Steve have four children, four children in love, and are blessed to be Mimi and Poppy to six grandchildren.