When I was in the fourth grade, my parents discovered that one of the reasons I was struggling in school was because I couldn’t clearly see the chalkboard and I needed eyeglasses. Putting those eyeglasses on for the first time changed my whole perception of the world around me. For a long time, I had thought I was just a klutz because of my difficulty catching any ball thrown to me. But when I put on the glasses, I realized that the problem was that I couldn’t see the ball coming towards me—and by the time I finally did see it, it was too late to catch. My fear of hardballs was the result of lots of black eyes from them hitting me in the face!
Many people who don’t need corrective eyewear take their eyesight for granted…that is, until they reach their mid-fifties and need to wear reading glasses, which is something that happens to everyone. I am reminded of this daily as I try to read and write or even work around the house. It’s bad to not be able to see well, but it must be horrific to be truly blind. This is probably why I especially love the stories about when Jesus healed a blind person. What an amazing thing that had to be for the person, who was one moment in total darkness and the next able to see the world.
Jesus had great compassion on the blind, but he was even more concerned about the blindness that can occur in a person’s heart. He cautioned his listeners to be very careful about what they looked at—a metaphor for what their hearts focused on. He indicated that if we focus on the things of the world—if our eye is “dark”—then our whole body will be dark, too. On the other hand, if we keep our eyes focused on the things of God—if our eye is “light”—then our whole body will be light.
One thing that I have become sensitive to—especially as we near this year’s Presidential election—is how people are focusing so much on the things of this world. Talk about the economy, politics, gun rights, racial matters, Israel, Russia, and End-times events abounds. These are all important matters, but placing our focus on them will cause the light inside us to become dark. We must resist the temptation to be consumed by these things, and keep our eyes on God and on the things Jesus wants us to focus on. Then the light in our bodies will be light—and we will be a light that shines on the darkness of this world.
Mathew 6:22-34 (NIV)
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!