Matthew 6:22-23~ “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear [and sound], your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad [and unsound], your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you (your conscience) is darkness, how great & dense is the darkness!”
I remember when I started wearing glasses. I was in sixth grade. As a matter of fact, I remember the moment when I realized I needed & wanted glasses. True- I was squinting, straining and blinking hard to read things far away, but those things didn’t win me over. It was the speech I got from Mia Ma.
See, Mia Ma didn’t play about many things and “good eye sight” was at the top of the list! It was because, for most of her childhood, her eyes were severely crossed after she accidentally pulled a jar of canned hot peppers off of a table, onto her face and directly into her eyes. She recants the incident as one that was marking, very painful and left her so cross-eyed they didn’t know if her eyes would ever straighten again.
They did. And she always took the opportunity to express the importance of sight, seeing and the woes of not valuing either. After taking the time to help me acknowledge the fact that some people were born blind while others endured trauma that limited or took away their ability to see, she drove home that sight was a gift that I could choose.
“Do you want to go blind, Sustah?” She asked me with her hand on her hip.
I quickly shook my head.
“You sure? Cause it would help the world know the difference between you and your sister,” she teased.
I shook my head again and took a deep breath.
“I just don’t want other kids to pick at me, Ma.”
Mia Ma exhaled a deep breath, walked over to me, put her hand underneath my chin and lifted my head to look into my eyes.
“It doesn’t matter what others say, darling. You can’t use their eyes to see. God gave you two of your own and you get to decide how you use them. So . . . do you want to see or do you want to be blind?”
Mia Ma and Apostle David’s (through a sermon on blindness) words marked me and has me continually pondering that choice. It seems like a “no brainer” to a person that values physical sight. The question is significant to me- a stubborn, strong-willed, fighting, prideful SUSTAH- when it comes to the “sight of maturity, growth and personal & spiritual development.” See, blindness in this area can occur when I choose to focus on and value these things above sight:
– Betrayl: how someone did me wrong;
– Desertion/Abandonment: how others left me
– My own wants, desires, lusts & appetites consume me & become my life;
– Familiarity: “same old, same old” mentality that limits value, new expectations, innovation & creativity;
– Compromising my core values for the sake of approval from others around me;
– Carrying of Care/Anxiety;
– Unexplained experiences in our past (i.e. Loss of a loved one, abuse, trauma);
– Being willfully Disobedient & Rebellious: defiant without a cause or purpose.
Really, this list can go on and on. The point is that blindness is the absence of light in regards to our ability to see. These things named above are things that we encounter daily that has the ability to limit and/or obstruct our ability to see God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, ourselves, others and the life-lessons around us as we should. What I “saw” at eleven years old is that God & Christ SAW me for the truly hot mess, broken, stubborn yet beautiful & sincere gift that I was and CHOSE to love me unconditionally anyway. That gift of sight- to see & love myself and others as God & Christ see & love me- is what I labor to value over the obstacles (some named above) before me daily. I say LABOR because it absolutely requires me to do some hard work!
More now than ever, I’m convinced that the “blind is leading the blind” in so many sectors of the world & church. Peeps hand in hand, as blind as a bat, traveling in circles as their good intentions, pride and ignorance would have them. However, just one by one, if we choose light & life, if we choose to see, if we value the gift of sight on the deepest of levels (spiritual, godly wisdom & understanding), we have & become the light that penerates darkness. And, people, we so need that light!
I want to see. But your choice is yours. Do you want see . . . Or do you want to be blind?