Reroute The Blind

May 15, 2013

A blind man was following the voices of a crowd and their tour guide along a mountain path. Being tired, he stopped to rest, but in so doing was separated from the others. Two other men happened to come along and when the blind man asked which way to go, the two men, thinking they’d amuse themselves, pointed the blind man in the direction of the cliff. The blind man thanked them and using his cane, wobbled across rocky terrain toward the precipice. A painter, engrossed in recreating the beautiful scenery onto the canvas in front of her, noticed the blind man heading straight toward the danger. But whether it was that she wanted to finish the brush strokes she was concentrating on, or whether she didn’t believe the man was really blind, the woman said nothing. The blind man, therefore, continued stumbling forward and within moments had stepped off the cliff to his death.

The woman, disturbed by the shriek that had penetrated the air surrounding her quiet perch, walked over and looked down over the cliff. “Too bad,” she muttered. Then turning back to her artwork, she noticed the other two men, who, having come out from their hiding place, looked quite pale. But, the woman, not wanting to offend the obvious offenders, said nothing and went back to her painting.

What picture am I trying to paint by my horrendous story? Obviously, it is this: That along life’s path we are continually meeting up with those who are spiritually blind. And when we do so, we have the choice to use them for our own selfish ends (power-trips, increase, pleasure, amusement, etc.), or we have the choice to ignore their plight, or we have the choice to come to their aid. To do the latter, means we must confront them with facts –namely, the Truth that declares their dangerous situation before the Holy Almighty God. Do we have an excuse to do anything but the latter if we are timid, busy, or preoccupied? We absolutely do not. Furthermore, we have no excuse before God if we say we didn’t realize (Pr. 24:11,12), for we are required to have been training ourselves to be keenly alert to spiritual needs. Therefore, we have no excuse to not detect the spiritual need of those whom we cross paths with, and we have no excuse to not open up our mouths to lovingly warn them.

Often a need is presented to us at inopportune times. We may be in a hurry, we may feel ill-prepared, we may be feeling grumpy or worried or tired or otherwise unspiritual, or we may not want to interrupt a conversation we’re already in. But whatever the case, if we miss our opportunity, the Lord will be displeased and we will be responsible, at least to some degree, for that person’s fate. However, we don’t need to be uptight about accidentally failing a chance, for if we’re making sure we’re “keeping in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25), the Spirit will be guiding and helping us.

A case in point: The other day my mom and I went garage-saling, something we’d not done in years. At the first one we stopped at, and though I wanted to hurry, I immediately said something friendly in case an opportunity would arise to speak about the Word and ways of God. We commented on the loaves of homemade bread on a table and I read the sign about it being there to raise funds for church camp. I right away asked, “What church?” The answer was “The Church of Latter Day Saints.” My heart fell a bit because though I’d studied in depth how to witness to a Mormon, I’d not studied it for many years and thus felt unprepared. The matter was dropped, but soon we were talking about other things, such as that the man was a teacher (as I had been) and the reasons why educating in the public schools isn’t the best job these days. At this point I was able to mention that I greatly enjoy sharing God’s Word at the downtown bus stops, but again they changed the subject.

God gave one last opportunity, though, and my mom and I took it: The man walked us to our car, carrying some stuff, and then asked us something that allowed me to quickly say, “But we differ with you in faith, because you don’t believe Jesus was God.” Well, away from his wife and the others, this man opened up and we had a wonderful conversation about Truth. Come to find out he used to be a Baptist. Needless to say, we parted ways with him in soberness, but warmness, and have since prayed for him many times.

Another case in point: Just yesterday, after stopping at a Wal-Mart, in a town I’d not been through in about two years, I noticed that a haggard-looking, but smiley man, was waiting in the car in the parking space in front of the one I’d pulled into. I smiled at him and went into the store. When I came out, there he still was. It’s not rocket-science to know, “Ah-ha. The Lord is giving me an opportunity.” So as I put my groceries into my car, I opened up my mouth, observing aloud, “You’re still here!”

“Yea, I’m waiting for someone,” he answered. “Hey,” he added. “Why do you have tape on your car’s front bumper?”

I explained, but he thought it was a useless remedy so I just laughed and said, “Yea, if groceries weren’t so expensive these days, I’d have the money to fix my car!”

Well, so the conversation had started, and though I’d earlier felt in a hurry, I realized this was more important.

“For sure this world has a lot of evil,” I agreed early into our conversation. “But we have God’s Word to comfort us.”

At this the man guffawed and said that God is a fairytale.

“I mean it,” I said, and just went right on speaking about the wonderful God we have, about DNA, about the incredibleness of creation, about the sense of right versus wrong which we all have in our hearts, about the necessity that evil-doers be punished so that justice is upheld, and about how one day we will all stand before God to have our deeds and our hearts judged.

Soon the man admitted that his mom and son both go to church and that he himself sometimes prays.

“But why do you pray to God if you don’t believe He exists?” I asked.

The man laughed sheepishly. “I pray just in case,” he answered.

Well, a couple more things were said, but the man indicated that he couldn’t handle any more Truth for that day, so I shook his hand, parted warmly, and prayed for him as I drove toward home. I still had one more place to stop though –the camper of a very poor man and wife. I stayed there briefly, chatted, and then asked if they were caught up on their bills this time. (Last time they’d not been, so I’d given them some money.) They said that they were caught up for now. However, being that my mom had told me to give to them whenever I felt led to, and that she would reimburse me, I felt the Lord prompting me to part with the $20 bill in my wallet. So I did. (Thankfully, both my husband and my mom are both very generous people.)

The point of relating these events is simply to give examples of how we can, and must, warn and help reroute the blind so that they can come into the Light. Friendliness, concern, compassion, aid toward needs other than spiritual, and a sacrifice of our time, all open up the chance to share the Good News. But let’s all keep in mind that opportunities to reroute those who are spiritually blind come about only by having opened our mouths to speak.

with love,

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