November 20th, Blindness and my Grandpa

Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.


 

Growing up I was very close to my grandparents.  Grandma and Grandpa ‘W’ lived about 7 miles north of our house.  Grandma and Grandpa ‘K’ lived even closer, only 2 miles away.  It’s safe to say that growing up I saw my grandparents just about everyday.  At least one of them.  I have nothing but fond memories with all of them.

My Grandpa K lost his eyesight in his early 80’s.    I knew that it was hard on him.  He was the smartest man i knew with only an 8th grade education.  My grandpa loved to read.  He read at least three weekly news magazines.  Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report.  He read two daily newspapers and two weekly newspapers.  He watched the evening news almost religiously, and slept through the morning news with almost the same zeal.  Grandpa had a pulse for what was going on in the world.  This is how I know that for him to lose his eyesight had to be terribly hard on him.  The man who read all of these publications and books, now had to be read to.  For some, this would be humiliation.  Not to my grandpa.  At least if it was, he never said anything.  I never heard him complain about losing his sight.  I never heard him complain about losing the ability to drive.  I never heard him complain when he couldn’t recognize me or another family member.  Grandpa never complained.

In today’s Gospel reading, we hear of Jesus passing by a blind man.  This blind man had obviously heard of Jesus.  He had heard the reputation of Jesus being a healer.  Otherwise why would he have called out to him not once but twice?

The people gathered around would tell him to be quite and not disturb Jesus or bother him as he walked by.  But this man had the faith to move mountains or at least to grab Jesus’ attention enough for Jesus to walk up to him and ask him what he wanted?  The man said, “Lord, please let me see!”.  Can we really comprehend what it’s like to not be able to see?  Just try closing your eyes and walk to your kitchen and try and get a glass of water without peaking.  Can you do it?  I can understand and appreciate better than some from watching Grandpa and what he went through.  Yet, I didn’t experience it first hand.

“Lord, please let me see!”  The fact is, God does want us to see.  God want’s us to see how much he Loves us.  He want’s us to see the world around us and to see those who need help from us.  God wants us to see Him in everything we do, in everyone we meet, and in ourselves.

Having worked in the past with people who have special needs, including blindness, I can tell you that people who lack something, make up for it in other ways.  And for those who have accepted any disability with humility, I have seen what they lack physically made up for in their love for everyone around them.   I have seen heart like no other.  God want’s us to see, maybe not outwardly but inwardly.  I saw my grandpa grow in holiness as the loss of his eyes became worse and worse.  We don’t have to grow in holiness only because we may develop a disability.  We can and should grow in holiness throughout our entire life.

Thought for the day:  What can I do to see clearly again both outwardly and inwardly?  How can I grow in holiness as a result?

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