Summary: This is week five our our health check series and looks at health vision, both for individuals and churches.
This is week six of our health check series and for me it represents the most frightening topic that I’ve spoken about since the New Year, and that is optical health. Being very honest this morning the thought of losing my sight is frightening. I tend to be a procrastinator about most things, if my dentist didn’t book my next appointment when I’m finished with my cleaning, I wouldn’t think of it until I had problems, I have a blood work requisition that has been sitting on my dresser since November. I know that I should exercise and I plan on getting on that, maybe next week or definitely the week after that.
Last spring my sister, who is a year older than me, was diagnosed with Glaucoma. I was talking to my optometrist so fast it would make your head spin. When she got me into a specialist and he told me there was no evidence right now that I had the same thing I was over the moon, and when he added that there were some markers that indicated that I might be at risk and recommended that I have a test a couple of times a year that I would have to pay out of pocket I said “sign me up.”
And if you were to question me about this fear of blindness I could probably talk about missing the beauty that surround me but bottom line is would be about reading. I literally can’t imagine my life without books. Most of you know that we do a third service at the Berkeley each Sunday afternoon and last year one of the ladies who attend our services had a stroke and lost a good portion of her sight and each week she would tell me how much she missed reading. On the other hand another one of the ladies was Agnes DeGarthe who lived to be a hundred and one and was a voracious reader, you very seldom saw Agnes without a book and she never wore glasses.
Most of you didn’t realize that I wore glasses until I started wearing them for this series but I have worn glasses since I was a teenager and only started wearing contact lenses about 6 years ago. In the scripture that was read this morning was the story of a man who did not have healthy vision but then he did and that is where we are going to start.
He opened his eyes and it was dark. Panic welled up inside him as he realized that he couldn’t see. But then he realized that he had never been able to see that it was just the start to another black, barren day. He felt his way around his room looking for his clothes, getting ready to face a hopeless day begging on the streets. He had long ago surrendered any hope of seeing the things that others saw. He knew that he would never see the sun that he felt on his face, would never view the grass he felt under feet. Never know what a tree looked like or and never see the people that jostled him on a daily basis as they pushed past him on their way through life. He would never be anything but what he was, a poor, blind, beggar in a hard land during a cruel time in history.
And so his day began, no different than any other day that he had spent, no better no worse just a day. And then his day changed because some friends came and took him by the hand and dragged him out of his house, their voices blending together in confusion as they told him of the man Jesus, the one who made the lame to walk and the blind to see. He was here they said, and Jesus could heal him. And so they dragged him through the streets of Bethsaida looking for the one that so many called lord. And then they were there and they pushed him into the carpenter begging that he heal their friend. His voice was soft, but his hands were hard and callused by his years spent working with wood and timber. Jesus spoke quietly to the blind man as he led him out of the crowd and through the city gates. “Where were they going? What did this Jesus want with him?” All he’d wanted was his sight he protested but Jesus continued to lead him by the hand. And then they stopped. And he waited, straining to hear, willing his ears to see the things that his eyes couldn’t. Jesus spit, that’s right he spit, spit right in his eyes and then laid his hands on him. And, and he could see, he looked around and the colors and shapes and sizes, and movement overwhelmed the blind man he was speechless words couldn’t explain or describe what he was seeing. Then he heard the master speak saying “do you see anything.” Could he see anything? He could see everything but it was so confusing, “what was the everything he could see” “I see people, they look like trees walking around?” And then Jesus reached out and touched him again and then he realized another miracle had happened because now the confusion was gone, and he knew what everything was.