"I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness."
~ John 12:46 (NKJV)
My mother has been blind since birth, with the ability to only see light, distinguish colors, and visually detect movement. She has sometimes expressed the desire to see an object or activity, particularly when a sighted person describes something to her. But my mother hasn't considered blindness a particular burden in life—it is all she's ever known. She's always said that she feels worse for people who once had sight and then lost it.
Several years ago, my mother collided with a sharp object she didn't detect and lost her remaining vision. She now lives in an unfamiliar and colorless world of perpetual darkness. She laments often that losing the sight she once had is far more difficult than it was to never see at all.
She remains grateful that she is only physically blind. She loves the Bible's truth, and has good spiritual vision.
"There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land...
Therefore you shall stumble in the day ...
My people perish for lack of knowledge."
~ Hosea 4:1,5-6
To live without truth and mercy is the result of not knowing God—of being spiritually blind. Spiritual blindness doesn't start out as complete, for the Bible says there's no such thing as a atheist (Romans 1:18-20). Truth and God's existence are known through (among other things) conscience, creation, and the place in every human soul that only God can satisfy.
When we don't know God, we grope about as spiritually blind. We feel around in the darkness for something to fill the God-shaped void in our lives. We expect to be soothed and satisfied by things like:
Food, Caffeine, Tobacco
Alcohol, Drugs (whether illegal or prescription)
Career, Achievement, Status
Sports, Hobbies, Recreation
Entertainment, Amusement, Media
Some of these things are plain evil. Many are only bad if used in excess or the wrong context. Every one of them is bad on the occasions when they displace God.
Therefore He says:
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."
~ Ephesians 5:6-14 (NKJV)
I don't know a single person (including yours truly) who never falls back on one of God's provisions in a moment when they instead need only Him. Any one of us can have those moments, come to ourselves, and turn back to God—in prayer, in reading His Word, in seeking out His Light in others. (Woe to us if we do not!)
But the person who is spiritually blind, to whom Light is unfamiliar, knows nothing else. They continue to grope in the Darkness. They may even become so accustomed to Darkness, and embrace it so fully, that they deny the existence of Light—and lose the little Light they have.
"For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away."
~ Matthew 25:29 (NKJV)
We are children of Light. When we encounter a child of Darkness, we may be inclined to condemn their spiritual blindness and abandon them. (Woe to us if we do so!)
We also have the opportunity to shine upon them with truth and draw them into the Light. They may choose to come with us, and be healed of their blindness. Or they may cling to Darkness, their blindness growing.
Their decision cannot be excuse for Light in us to dim. To be a Christian is to be a little Christ, anointed with His Light, and bring it to every person around us.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
~ Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV)
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Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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