The Eyes of God
I have a chocolate lab puppy named Coley. Some of you are witnessing him grow up on Facebook. Now that he is 33 pounds (in just two months!), he is going for small walks with me and Ella, our older black lab.
Coley believes in the joy of picking things up and chewing on them. It is a puppy thing. He also loves to show off whatever is in his mouth, to come over to me and prance in pride. On our walk yesterday morning, Coley discovered that he could pick up the neighbors morning paper. After all, it was sitting innocently on the ground right in the middle of their driveway, waiting to be picked up by any old puppy walking by. So Coley took up the paper in his drooly puppy mouth and proudly pranced over to me to show it off.
How do you explain to a puppy that the paper does not belong to him, or to me for that matter? How do explain about ownership and addresses and purchasing and property?
You can’t explain. Because the puppy cannot see. He lives in Eden, where no one owns anything and the pleasures of life have to do with chewing random objects or getting pats. Coley can only see through his own eyes, the eyes of a puppy.
Animals haven’t fallen from Eden. They have Eden eyes. They live simply without sin or complexity or the knowledge of death. Humans do not live with Eden eyes because we believed the snake when he told us to eat of the forbidden fruit. If you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be able to see like God, knowing good and evil. You will be able to see good and evil.
When Samuel the prophet is supposed to anoint a king, he assumes that God will chose the oldest, the most handsome or the strongest of Jesse’s sons. But God reminds Samuel that God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart.
You see, the snake promised us that we would see like God sees, but the snake was a lier, Yes, we can see good and we can see evil but we cannot always see as God sees.
The question for us is this: are you glad that you can see? Are you glad that Adam and Eve ate that fruit or do you wish you were still in Eden? I, for one, sometimes am not sure…
Is it better to be blind to some things? Wouldn’t life be a bit easier if we couldn’t see every painful thing? We protect our children from seeing violence on TV or R rated movies. Why doesn’t God protect us from seeing pain and suffering? Why can’t we be shielded in some way?
The blind man was born that way. He had never seen. He was begging by the side of the road. He never asked to see, he would only ask for food. That’s all he wanted, just something to eat.
When Jesus approached him, the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned that this man was born blind? You see, back in the time of the Old Testament, handicaps or illnesses were considered punishments from God. If you had a crippled child, you must have done something to make God mad. And the disciples assumed that this was true. Notice that they didn’t ask if God was punishing, they just asked who God was punishing. They were certain someone had messed up and made God angry, they just didn’t know who.
But Jesus’ reply surprises them. He explains that God did not make this man blind because someone sinned. No, this man was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. This man’s weakness presented an opportunity for God’s strength to show forth. This man’s darkness was a chance for God to shine light.
In order to prove his point, Jesus makes some mud and places it on the man’s eyes, then asks him to bathe and the man’s sight is restored. And the man sees!
Can you imagine what it must have been like to see when you have NEVER seen before? Color, shape, dimension…it must have been overwhelming! He must not have known what anything was at first. How his brain must have been exhausted!
But then the man sees more than he bargained for. Jesus’ miracle starts an uproar. The Pharisees are threatened and angry. They are mad that Jesus healed on the Sabbath. They want to catch him doing something wrong. They try to interrogate the man who was blind and when that doesn’t work, they move on to his parents. And the poor man has to watch as his parents abandon him and refuse to answer the questions because they are afraid. They tell the Pharisees to return to their son and ask him because they know that they could be expelled from the synagogue for answering the questions wrong.
So the man who can see has to see too much.
He watches hypocrites try to frame Jesus.
And then he watches his own parents trying to throw him to the dogs.
Then the whole village throws out the man who can now see.
He watches as the only home he has ever known rejects him.
So the man who was born blind keeps on looking and this is where things get really important.
He looks until he finds Jesus.
And he believes in Jesus.
Finally, the blind man sees with God’s eyes.
It is tough to see it all, to see both the light and the darkness. We have to see injustice, unfairness, poverty, suffering. We have to watch children starve and people not be able to find work. Who wants to see such things?
But if we chose to look ever further, beyond all the pain and suffering, we can look for Jesus. We can see the One who saves us and we can understand what it is that he is saving us from. We can let our lives be an opportunity for God’s love to shine into the darkness.
In the movie Hacksaw Ridge, Desmund Doss is a medic who is a pacifist and a devout Seventh Day Adventist. He enlists to serve in World War Two and on a hellish night in Japan, Doss saves the lives of 75 soldiers by crawling through a killing field in the darkness and carrying soldiers to the edge of a cliff where he lowers them down with ropes. After each soldier, he thanks God and prays, “Just one more. Just one more.”
Seventy five men were saved because when Doss opened his eyes to see darkness and hell on earth, he looked with the eyes of God and he saw an opportunity to show God’s love. So he went back over and over and over again, with God in charge and saved lives. He turned a night of hell into a time that no one will ever forget, to show forth God’s glory.
God says to the prophet Samuel, I do not see as men see, I look upon the heart.
Let us open our eyes even more, to see the struggles of life, yes, but not to stop there or rest in despair. Let us look deeper and see in every situation the opportunity of show forth God’s love.
Look Deeply. How can you show forth the light of Christ? The darker the day, the brighter the light God can shine into it. Don’t give up hope. Look with the eyes of God.
Tags: Darkness / Innocence / Anxiety