This week’s Scriptures: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 | Psalm 23 | Ephesians 5:8-14 | John 9:1-41
When I got my first pair of glasses in second grade, I remember relegating them to my desk. It wasn’t out of vanity; it was mostly that I had always been proud of my sight and didn’t quite understand how I’d ended up with glasses in the first place. After all, my dad always told the story of me, age two, spotting an airplane in the sky that even he couldn’t see. Eventually, though, the effort of putting on my glasses when I had to see the board and taking them off to work on my assignments became a nuisance and I transitioned to wearing glasses full-time.
Now, my glasses are integral to who I am. In fact, one of my greatest fears is going blind. I am so afraid of what will happen when my eyes fail and glass lenses can’t save me anymore. What will I do when I can’t see sunshine anymore? Or when I can’t see the three freckles that form a triangle at the corner of my sister’s eye? In the scriptures for this week, God shows us examples of God’s work in the midst of our inability to see or understand.
Once, at an overnight summer camp, I lost my glasses when we went tubing in a nearby river. It was Thursday, in the middle of our week, and my back-up pair of glasses was at home, two days and two hours away. I remember tearing up and blaming it on how bright the sun was. How would I even function?
When I mull over the rest of that week, though, I don’t recall feeling lost or afraid. I do remember feeling bereft but, somehow, nothing happened that I couldn’t handle. I went on our final hike of the week without twisting my ankle or falling on a rock. I ate meals successfully, albeit with less knowledge of what I was actually eating. I’m not sure how many people looked out for me during the rest of our time, but I greeted my family on Saturday morning healthy and mostly happy, with a funny story to tell.
While God certainly kept me safe during the closest experience I’ve had to being blind, something else stands out to me about that week. I prefer going into things with at least a vague idea of how they will unfold, and God knows that about me. God gave me the chance to rehearse losing one of my most important senses. God showed me that I would be able to cope, that God has my back every step of the way.
If the worst happens, if I can’t ever see sunlight again or if I grow numb and apathetic in a world of constant bad news and can’t see my way out, God will be there. I may walk in the valley of darkness for far longer than I want to, but God will still be by my side. God will not leave me.