• Jamie McClanahan

The Blind and the Blurry

Blindness and Blurriness are a reality for millions of Americans. [1] In fact, approximately 12 million people 40 years and over have vision impairments. More than 4.2 million Americans aged 40 years and older are either legally blind or suffer from other vision problems. The most common ailment is refractory errors. These can be broken down into 3 major categories: nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. [2]The inconvenience of this is experienced not only in loss of vision but also in the pocketbook. [3] The annual economic impact of major vision problems among the adult population 40 years and older is more than $145 billion.[4]

The extent of blindness and blurriness in our world is vast. Millions suffer from various maladies.

While it is true that eyesight deficiency affects millions of people, billions more suffer from another kind of vision problem? The world is full of people who are spiritually blind from the ailment of sin. The cost of spiritual blindness, much like the $145 Billion, is also great and in many ways worse; death and separation from God forever. The cure for those in spiritual darkness is the light of Christ as revealed by the Spirit of God. Saul's great conversion experience to Paul in Acts 26 is a reminder of how spiritual blindness is turned to sight through the intervention of Jesus Christ. It was there along the road to Damascus that Jesus met Saul. This former Christian persecutor is overwhelmed by a blinding light "brighter than the sun" (vs.13), and Jesus says to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" (Vs. 14). Jesus then calls Saul to join him in his mission. In verses 16-18, he says: But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

The words of Jesus reveal the picture of blindness as it relates to the spiritual condition of humanity. Initially, all are blind to the truths of salvation as revealed in the Word of God. However, even those who see the light still suffer from a kind of temporary spiritual blurriness. In I Cor. 13:4-7, Paul writes: "For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. " In the context of this passage, it is the love of God in Christ Jesus that illuminates the eyes of the soul. And yet, this illumination is limited on earth. We long for the time when we will stand face-to-face with Jesus. It is only then that we will know and understand our salvation fully. Paul gives us confidence that God is at work in us now and is preparing us for this encounter with Jesus beyond the grave. In Phil. 1:6, he writes, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Ultimately, we are to be comforted in knowing that the love of God abides in his children eternally. We must hold onto this love as birds grasp the last light of day. We know there is an eternal sunrise just beyond the horizon because of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Until then, we strain under the beautiful but limited knowledge we can grasp. But soon, we will know fully, for we will see Jesus face to face. On that great day, all spiritual blurriness will be removed, and 2020 soul vision will be our forever reality.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html [2] https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/refractive-errors [3] https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html [4] https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/fastfacts.htm

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