Wednesday, Fourth Week in Lent

by Matthew B. Harper

Mark 8:24 – And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

One girlfriend I had used to love to call me her “blind-as-a-bat boyfriend,” and that was before my eyes got really bad. When I told some prison friends I was learning sign language, they laughed and told me I should learn Braille. I’m nearly blind without my glasses, and without them people to me look like little more than trees walking. And my vision is slowly but steadily deteriorating. Yet I am at peace.

One source of strength in this is from a young woman I knew ten years ago who was totally blind. A college friend, she had the courage and faith to spend a year studying abroad in Paris. When I visited there it was she who was my tour guide.

The eye doctor has joked with me and told me only one man at the prison has worse vision; it turns out that he is a friend of mine. He is the drummer of a band I am in, and diabetes has left him almost totally blind. You would assume that his handicap would leave him a perpetual victim in prison, and the reverse is true. The men in here look out for him, help him, and accommodate him in many little ways.

And it is fair to say that all of us know well many people who are spiritually blind. Their vision may be 20/20, but their eyes are blind to the ways of God. Jesus opened the worldly eyes of this man, but only after the man begged Jesus to touch him. His spiritual eyes were working just fine.

God has opened my eyes and ears to his ways and his being. My earthly eyes are in His hands, and I am at peace whatever happens, because I am in His hands.

That it may please thee to preserve all who are in danger by reason of their labor or their travel, We beseech thee to hear us good Lord.” BCP 151

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