My eyesight has never been that great. I could blame my mother and father, but then they would have to blame their parents and so on. Regardless of how my genetic makeup came to create my eyes as they are, the fact of the matter is that if I don't have contacts or glasses on I am virtually blind. This allows my wife to have some fun with me in the mornings and at night when my corrective lens aren't in place, as she might hold something up ten feet away from me and ask if I can tell what it is. I don't do well at this game...
Although my physical eyesight continues to deteriorate, my spiritual eyes are seeing more clearly than ever. While I look around at all that this world has to offer, its appeal wanes. I see the wealth, the fame, and all that seeks to draw me into a mindset that believes that somehow there could be true life and peace in these temporary trappings. But I am seeing those things for what they truly are, a horrible delusional distraction from the One who gives eternal life, true peace. All that attempts to draw me away from Jesus is not worth straining my eyes to see.
One of my long-time musical "heroes" is Rich Mullins. Although Rich isn't with us any longer, and I didn't know him personally, the impression he left on me has been lasting. I was in college in the early nineties and just fell in love with his song writing. I mean, who comes up with lines like, "There is fury in the pheasant's wings?" That's golden! But more than his writing and musical genius, it was his heart for Jesus that pierced me. Rich loved God, even in his imperfections and brokenness. He displayed for all to see what abandonment to God might just look like. And what it looked like was a man who embraced the unimaginable grace of God.
I have experienced such grace in my own life. And it is shaping how I see life and the world around me. Apart from grace I would be forced to see this world and the people in it through cynical, bitter eyes. I would see greed, lust, abuse, anger, and all else that sin has darkened as reason to cower in a lonely corner of the planet and simply wait for judgment to rain down. But grace has changed everything -- everything!
I don't see the people around me as pitiful excuses for humanity who God should have wiped out centuries ago. I see lost, dying, needy people whose eyes simply haven't been opened yet. I see people who can only see through the lens of their physical vision, who can only see the hurt, pain, and hopelessness of a world under the spell of sin. I see wonderful, beautiful, broken people for whom Christ willingly carried the cross and paid the final, total payment for their sins. I see lives of infinite possibilities just waiting to be unleashed the moment they encounter, and embrace, the grace of their Maker.
While I wouldn't ever desire to be blind, I wouldn't mind if my vision continues to worsen as I look at all that tries to appeal to my sin nature. Because I want to continue to sharpen my vision for truth, resting fully in the wonderful grace of Jesus. As I gaze into His beautiful face, His glory blinds me to all else. I can then see clearly that it is only by His grace that I stand, that I truly live, and that I can touch those around me with any impact. Grace blinds us to sin's appeal and to ourselves, thus allowing us to finally live as God intended: by faith.
Will you look today into the compassionate, inviting face of Jesus and be blinded by His grace? I pray you will, for when you do all else fades and life truly becomes worth living.