A thought by John Ortberg (2015-05-05) from his book, Life-Changing Love: Moving God'sLove from Your Head to Your Heart (p. 36). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
John shares, “Someone once asked Mother Teresa what she saw as she walked the streets of Calcutta where the poorest of the poor lived; what she saw when she looked at the orphans, the starving, the dying. This is what she said: ‘I see Jesus in a distressing disguise.’” But the truth is that is not what we see. Really to us too many times those people are invisible. They aren’t even there.
But God through Jesus sees thing so differently. John says, “God pays close attention to us: ‘Even the hairs of your head are numbered,’ Jesus said. We often take it as a sign of love if someone is able to notice a haircut or a change in hairstyle. (By the same token, the failure to notice a change in coiffure is one of the leading causes of conflict in marriage.) God has numbered every hair. If one falls out, he notices. (He may not replace it, unfortunately, but he notices.) God notices things your mother has never even thought about. And when we live in the love of God, we begin to pay attention to people the way God pays attention to us.”
John relates a story in the book of John in the NT. He says, “as he walked along, he [Jesus] saw a man blind from birth.” To everyone else he was an invisible man.
Now John Ortberg says, “In relating the story of the blind man, John” (the Apostle) “wants his readers to know that Jesus has mastered the art of attending. Each of the characters or groups of people in the story saw in a different way. • When the disciples looked at this beggar, they saw an interesting theological conundrum — who sinned that he was born blind? But they did not see him with the eyes of the heart. Their seeing did not move them. • When his neighbors looked at him, they saw an eyesore, a ragged reminder of suffering and poverty that they learned to overlook. But they did not see him with the eyes of the heart. They too were unmoved. • When the Pharisees looked at him, they saw a violated Sabbath, a threat to their spiritual authority. They saw with dry, unblinking eyes — no tears, no softening. They did not simply fail to see, they refused to see. They tightly shut the eyes of the heart and would not open them. Spiritual blindness is not just ignorance. Jesus said to the Pharisees, ‘If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see,” your sin remains.’ Eyes that cannot see might be healed, but eyes that will not see cannot be helped. God himself will not force them open. • When Jesus looked at the blind man, Jesus saw an opportunity to do the work of God. He saw a child of God who needed to be delivered from blindness. He saw and was moved. He saw through eyes that sometimes glistened with tears, flashed with anger, or danced in joy. But they never missed a thing, those eyes.”
He then shares, “A man who had been blind from birth can see; and he realizes that the sight he will prize his whole life, the best thing he will ever lay his eyes on, is the One who healed him. For now he sees that he has not been forgotten by God. Now he realizes, after a lifetime of being ignored, that God has not turned his face away from even the lowliest of rag dolls. God heard every prayer, counted every tear. Now this man had eyes that could truly see. And I imagine he spent the rest of his life learning to see the way Jesus saw. That’s what eyes are for.”
Oh that we would learn that.
So what do our eyes see?