Proverbs 29, Verse 13 - The poor and the oppressor have this in common--the LORD gives sight to the eyes of both.
Helen Keller - "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision."
Mahatma Gandhi - "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."
Mark Twain - "Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
Psalm 31, Verse 9 - Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am in distress. Tears blur my eyes. My body and soul are withering away.
Philippians 3, Verse 18 - For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.
Job 13, Verses 1 - 5 - Look, I have seen all this with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and now I understand. I know as much as you do. You are no better than I am. As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself. As for you, you smear me with lies. As physicians, you are worthless quacks. If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you could do.
Psalm 115, Verses 5-7 - They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell. They have hands but cannot feel, and feet but cannot walk, and throats but cannot make a sound.
Psalm 135, Verses 15-17 - The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, and eyes but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, and noses but cannot smell.
Matthew 13, Verses 13-23 - That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’ "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn't see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn't hear it. "Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God's word, but all to quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred ties as much as had been planted!"
A Christian Prayer from The Sarum Primer
God be in my head,
And in my understanding;
God be in my eyes,
And in my looking;
God be in my mouth,
And in my speaking;
God be in my heart,
And in my thinking;
God be at my end,
And at my departing.
Where did you first learn about God? What were your first impressions? What were you feverish about, gung-ho? Do you remember when you first believed? Can you attribute it to something you saw or heard? Go ahead and share in the comment field. I remember first thinking about God when I was 3 years old, as I attended various churches from birth with my parents. I was an early taker and very curious about religion, so my belief pre-dates my full understanding of belief. Youth group during my teenage years was a big past-time for me, and then I fell away from worship until I met a faithful guy in my mid-twenties whom I married. I then recommitted and had a full-immersion baptism. My deeper understanding of God and the Christian faith came in my thirties, and it is still coming along. A mature faith comes from "seeing", "hearing" and "doing" more and more of the right thing over a period of time; it is not just a matter of watering one seed. I think there are many seeds to my faith, and some are just now being tended to--enough to produce new sprouts. This partial delay is because I have ignored some things I've seen and heard for a very long time-period. Aren't many of us just the same?!
What others see and hear of us is sometimes a mixed bag; it's us being a great example of a sinner one moment, and then other times us be doers with God in mind. What example are you that others are seeing and hearing of you? I do work to lay seeds, but there is the work of watering, tending and harvesting. What is your skill? What more would God have you do in your life?
Also, are you weary? I have been often. When personal livelihoods are in question one can become weakened and weary. Troublesome blips on the radar screen can seem long-lasting. Our eyes can tear up and our vision blurred, yet we have choices. God gives us choices. One can be swept up in pity and remorse for oneself and those affected by one's difficulties. One can forget to rejoice and bear witness to a compassionate and just God. One can lose the faith. If we lose our faith is it because we have not heard, or not seen? Have we become blinded and deaf to the truth? Was the seed of truth we absorbed earlier-on planted on good soil? Are we putting up walls so we lose sight of God? Do we really have a choice? I sometimes need reminded that God wants us to stand up for our faith during difficult times. He wants us to lean on Him and stand upright. If we can't rejoice, we are to get on our knees and see where God will meet us in the solitude. Opening our hearts in prayer and being doers of the word is good medicine for faith-under-fire. For we never want to lose sight of God, or forget our understanding of His Kingdom. For our God is an awesome God, and His kingdom is our spiritual home.
Dear God, I have a memory of darkness that sometimes prevents my understanding from being straight—it's like a flashback from an ugly war scene. And I have too often been battle weary, teared up and pitied myself. I lose faith in all but the little things, yet I soon remember seeing You in the skies, on a hill or at the ocean. I also see you in others, and the going-ons through time. Age leaves scars, but today I rejoice that I have my scars, and my sight, and my breath, and still stand upright. Maybe once we are "Your child", we are always "Your child", as I have heard from many churches that is their belief. I am trying to "see" and "hear" and "do" and create a vision that leans on Your wisdom and teachings. I am in transition mode, with the surprise of no children. I need Your encouragement to be kind in all of my endeavors with all people, and to seek charity and goodwill in new volunteer and paid work assignments I am taking on. I hope what people see and hear from me is good; I hope others see you in me as needed. Thank you for tearing down walls in my life so I could see beyond this world to Your kingdom. Send water this way for my newfound sprouts. Praise You--an awesome God! Amen.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.