Every time I read news stories, I’m reminded of the various blind spots we have. We are blind to facts, blind to our neighbor, blind to diversity, blind to change, blind to justice, blind to ourselves. We are blind to the fact that we are blind in the first place!
I believe our blindness is rooted in hardened hearts and we are in need of healing. Lent is the time we re-examine and re-imagine our spiritual lives. It is a time to re-think our faith and explore deepening our spiritual spring roots in the soft, loamy soil of the gospel. It’s an opportunity to shake off our spiritual hibernation and open our eyes to the newness of life that is all around us.
How do we do that?
First, we acknowledge we are blind or short-sighted. The fact is we all have blind areas. The danger isn’t having blind spots, but allowing those blind spots to influence how we view others and the world around us. Regulating and requiring certain behaviors, beliefs, or lifestyles of others is enforcing your blindness on them. Conformity is not God’s end game.
Second, we face our fears that contribute to our blindness. Only a handful of things make us fearful: lack of control, the unknown, and being vulnerable. Hmm. As someone in a 12-Step Program would say: Exactly why we need a Higher Power in the first place. God’s grace secures us to step into these voids one step at a time. Each step scrapes away a little more of the opaqueness that clouds our vision.
Third, we release all judgment and expectations. Another challenge. I find that if I get myself out of the picture and just let the other person be who they are, in the way they are, I am on the road to releasing judgement and expectations.
Amazing Grace has a line:
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
John Newton penned those words from his experience of God’s grace finding him and giving him sight. It didn’t happen overnight nor all at once. He continued running slave ships even after his conversion and continued to invest in the slave trade when he no longer was an active sea captain. While he himself was left as a slave in West Africa because of his problematic behavior as a young sailor, it took decades for him to see the full extent of his own blindness to slavery.
There are only a couple of weeks left in Lent. What blind spots are you willing to discard? What do you see?