Summary: Do you remember when your eyes opened up? Who or what did you see?
OH ... SAY CAN YOU SEE
John 9:13-18, 24-25
REVEREND KELVIN L. PARKS
Monument of Love Baptist Church
31 July 2003 at Shelby County Penitentiary
I’m reminded of a story of a blind man who was on his deathbed. The man had been born blind but that didn’t stop him from serving the Lord. You see ... he was very active in his church, always giving, never asking for anything in return. Everyone loved this old man. Children ages 6-60 came to him for his straightforward, good Christian advice and counsel. You may say he was the epitome of what Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:16 when he said “You shall know them by their fruits...”
Well one day the pastor of the church came to pray and to talk with him. The pastor when he approached the man’s bedside said, everything’s going to be fine? The old man responded I know everything’s going to be fine. I’m not worried at all. Matter of fact, I’m real happy right about now. Well, this kind of threw the pastor for a loop. Here is a man on his deathbed and he is reassuring the pastor that everything is going to be all right, and to top things off, the sick man claimed that he is real happy right now.
After that exchanged both he and the pastor were quiet for a moment then the old man spoke up. He said, pastor you know why I’m happy right now? The pastor, with tears in his eyes about now responded, why? The old blind man said, just think, I’m lying here about ready to die. And when I die, I’ll close my eyes for the last time, because the next time I’ll open them, I will be able to see. And you know what? The first person I will ever see in my life will be Jesus Christ.
Now I don’t know whether this story is true or not and it really doesn’t matter. For you see, the story serves as an illustration. One may argue that this old blind man had been given sight a longtime ago, sight that really mattered. Sight to see things not in the natural but in the spirit, and his focus was still, as it always had been, on seeing Jesus Christ.
Well I came to ask you tonight, “Oh say, can you see”?
Do you remember when your eyes opened up? Who or what did you see? Now I’m not necessarily talking about being saved. Because some of us were saved when we were 8, 9, and 10 years old, and been in church all of our lives. But we have grown up and we have experienced more things about ourselves, others, and the world, which, in part changed our views on how we approach, handle, and views things now. When was it that you really saw and what did you see?
Was the first person you saw Jesus and how Jesus has been a part of your life in spite of your current situation and circumstance? Did you see how he had brought you? How he has kept you? How he still loved you in spite of all of our idiotic and insane decisions you made in your life? Did you see how he protected you, comforted you, cared about you? Did you see how he gave you chance after chance, after chance? Did we see how Jesus was still working in your lives despite your objections to the help that He was provided? Did you see and recognized Jesus working in your lives? I just want to ask the question tonight...Oh say, can you see ...
Or did you see yourselves or did you like James said ... looked in the mirror and forgot what you looked like. When you look in the mirror of life ... did you see a broken down, beat up shell of a person desperately searching and seeking serenity? Did you see your life as an un-orchestrated orchestra out of tune with the dark, damp, and destitute realities of life? Did you see the broken relationships, shattered dreams, and unfulfilled desires that led you to be this meandering wonderer wondering through the desert of despair of this penal system? In other words, did you see yourself just going through the motions not living but just illegally surviving by trying to obtain the quick and easy money? When we saw for the first time what did you see?
Did you see the injustice and all of the problems the world throws at you? Did you see the homeless and any marginalized and ostracized person, not just as another bum in the street or someone that’s sick and deranged, person but also as a person? Did we see how many of your children are failing and flunking out of school because you are not there? Did you see where your neighborhoods are in disarray because of the drugs that you sold in them.