Thursday, January 21, 2016
now I see
In 1958, Bocelli was born in Tuscany, Italy, and grew up on his family's farm. He was born with severe congenital glaucoma which affected his sight, ultimately causing him to go blind after a soccer accident at the age of twelve. However, Bocelli always held a great love for music. So much so, that after losing his sight, his mother noted that music was the only thing that would truly comfort him. Bocelli learned to play several instruments throughout his life and loved to sing. He was a natural operatic tenor. By the time Bocelli reached adulthood, he worked his way through law school while performing nights in local piano bars. In 1992, the famous tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, heard a demo tape of Bocelli and liked his voice so much that he urged others to promote the blind singer. This ultimately led to a successful singing career along with great fame and fortune... all because one blind man loved music.
Some of you may know that my father was also blind. He was diagnosed at the age of fourteen with juvenile diabetes which ultimately caused him to lose his sight in early adulthood. Although my father's life did not result in fame or fortune in this world, he did spend his days working, enjoying his family, and sharing the message of Jesus with others. Blindness would not stop him from his favorite hobby either. He loved carpentry and was quite talented at making furniture. In addition to furniture, he used his skills to create all sorts of training pieces to teach Braille to individuals who were facing permanent blindness. My father was a wonderful, Christian man who lived to love and serve Jesus by loving and serving others.
Anyway, last night I was listening to Bocelli's rendition of Ave Maria, and I started to think about his life as a blind man. Then I started to remember my dad. You see, to teach us about blindness, my father would blindfold my brother and me for an afternoon and encourage us to live as he did, without sight. We'd call them "Blind Days" and would playfully bumble and fumble around the house while attempting to manage getting around without the use of our eyes. We'd even do our chores this way! However, at the end of the day we had the luxury to remove the blindfold... to see life again. My father, unfortunately, did not.
This activity taught me many things about living in blindness. First, it taught me the importance of order. For without order, a blind person would stumble over things and easily become injured. Second, it taught me the importance of paying attention and listening well. After losing one's sight, the gift of hearing is greatly relied upon to get by. In fact, my father would say that his hearing improved after his sight went because he was forced to pay attention to what was going on around him in a very different way. Third, blindness taught me the importance of being grateful. Did you know that the majority of married couples who must confront blindness as a trial ultimately end up divorced? Furthermore, many blind individuals easily fall into depression and are at greater risk to commit suicide. Without the ability to "see" all that they have - to be grateful and enjoy other areas of life (such as music) - a blind person can fall into great despair and become defeated in sorrow.
I closed my eyes last night and experienced the handsome tenor voice of Bocelli. I thought about how beautiful this man could sing. How wonderfully blessed I was to enjoy the gift of hearing... of experiencing this gorgeous music. Then I thought about my Jesus.
For once, I too, was blind. Once I was lost and in need of spiritual sight. Then I learned of Christ's mercies and accepted Him as my Redeemer. And from that moment on, Jesus became my Vision. Now, even though I am unable to physically see the Creator with my weak, human eyes, I am blessed to find His order all around me. Even though I am unable to focus upon the lovely face of my Teacher, my spirit knows to pay attention... to seek His instruction. I am actively listening for my Savior's voice. I am anxiously awaiting His guidance and direction. For I trust Him. I know that He is good. I've experienced his blessings first hand and rely upon His holy, perfect words to see me through the storms of this sinful, sightless world. For He sees what I do not. He knows the path. He is the Light that will get me home. His ways are bigger and better and greater than my own. Daily, I will rejoice and worship Him rather than despair or sorrow in temporary trials. For my human blindness is with me only for a short while. Soon, my sight will be renewed and I will have the luxury to remove the blindfold of corruption from my eyes! But I must remain willing to undergoing the full restoration He has planned. I must be open to what He is trying to teach me.
Ladies, can you see Him? Is your eternity secure as you trust the Light of the World to guide you home and remove the scales of sin from your eyes? Or are you allowing Satan to consume you hearts with the despair and sorrow of earthly things? Trust me when I tell you - there is more to see than the here and now!
Because of Jesus, this ole' blind girl is renewed and grateful for the grace that her Almighty Father continues to bestow each and every day as He teaches her to walk without the reliance of her human eyes. I am relaxing in His order and am trusting His plan of Redemption. I am believing His promise to lead me home into His secure and loving arms... all because My Savior first loved me.
Praise His Holy Name for I no longer live in darkness. Close your earthly eyes with me and listen. Do you hear His handsome, magnificent voice? Are you seeking His astounding, unending, irrefutable presence! For He is the blessing... the comfort in which you can depend on and be grateful for. He is more beautiful than music. More valuable than vision. More glorious than anything you will ever see or encounter.
Hallelujah to The King of Kings! Glory to His Holy Name on High! I was once blind, but now... ahhh now, I SEE MY JESUS!!! AMEN!
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16)
Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord of my heart!
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