I’ve been reading on the roof of my house lately. It’s dirty up there, full of laundry lines and cat scratch, but I like it because I can see the city I live in. Xela’s a busy city and from my rooftop I can see people walking her streets, cars swerving around those people, and street dogs fighting over bags of trash. This is the physical world I live in, but I long to see so much more. I want to see with my heart and be open to the spiritual world.
Have you ever thought about what it might be like to be blind? When I was little, I used to be afraid of going blind. This fear typically surfaced after I’d been reading and my eyes would’ve focused in on the words, then I would look up and my surroundings would be a little blurry. This sacred me out of reading for a while. I’ve never wanted to wear glasses. I’m 25 and I still have perfect sight and I’ve always prided myself on that fact. I love being able to see God’s creation. The blues, greens, reds, oranges, and browns that paint the landscape of my life are colors I don’t want to live without. But lately I’ve been thinking about how there is more to life than what I can see. So what would it be like to be blind?
I’ve been reading “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,” by Annie Dillard. It’s a hard book to read. My vocabulary isn’t that big and she hits on some real deep issues. One of the chapters deals with sight. She talks about how people who are blind from birth and then regain their sight have a hard time with spatial reasoning; the thought that a blind person may not be able to judge sizes and distances had never occurred to me. Without sight your connection to the physical world would be based on your other senses. Your understanding of the world would be completely different. As a person who can see I describe my experience living here on Earth by telling people about what I see. A blind person might describe their experience living here on Earth by telling people what they feel, physically or emotionally.
I might be wrong, but I think a blind person might be more in tune with God’s creation at times because he or she isn’t distracted by sight. In “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeline L’Engle, there are creatures that cannot see. They’re not blind because to be blind you would need to be created to see through eyes. They don’t need eyes because they sense everything. I’m reading this book with my sixth graders and when I read through the chapter with Aunt Beast, one of the creatures that can’t see, it hit me that there is more to my world than what I can see. We live in a spiritual world too.
I live in a world where I can only see the physical. But as the apostle Paul says, the physical that we can see doesn’t last but the unseen is eternal. L’Engle uses this quote in her book. She has Aunt Beast, the unseeing creature, utter the words, which I find interesting because Aunt Beast seems to be able to see the unseen. Minutes later I read this quote by Paul again, in another book I’m reading, “Waking the Dead,” by John Eldredge. Mind you this reading occurred on my roof in a single day. Like I said I like to go up to my roof and read because it is warm and I can see the mountains surrounding the city. I had just put down “A Wrinkle in Time” and picked up “Waking the Dead” and I was still thinking about not being able to see. It so happens that the chapter I’m on in “Waking the Dead” is titled Eyes of the Heart. Eldredge is talking about how we need to see with the eyes of our heart.
What does it look like to see with the eyes of your heart? This is just what I’m trying to figure out. I love being able to see, but I want to see more. I want to be in tune with the world the way Aunt Beast is in “A Wrinkle in Time.” I want to be able to see the glory of the Lord. I know that God has a plan for my life and I know that my heart and not my eyes will be able to see it. This is the prayer that I have for my life. That I slow down and look for God in everything. He is there and my heart burns when it senses him, but my eyes are unfocused and can’t judge what they’re seeing. I’m a blind person who has just received his sight and is having a hard time with spatial reasoning. I want to be like a blind person and rely on my other senses. Right now I’m looking at something that is totally foreign to me and I want my eyes to see the eternal glory of the Lord.