And he cometh to Bethsaida: and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town. -- Mark 8:22-26 KJV
What is it about seeing and the New Testament portion this week? Did you catch that in the reading (the one I followed shows Mark 7:31 - 9:1), there is constant talk of seeing? The Pharisees want to "see" a sign. Yeshua speaks metaphorically about leaven, the disciples do not understand, and the He asks, "Having eyes, see ye not?" Then He heals a blind man, causing him to see (passage above). The reading ends with Yeshua saying that some standing there should not taste death until what? Until they "see" the kingdom of God come with power.
I chose to highlight the portion of the blind man's healing because of two reasons. First, it is on my mind, since before I read this (not even knowing this was a part of our reading) I had a dream two nights ago that had me waking up thinking of that exact passage. I will share it later. Second, because it shows the truth about seeing, that it is most often done in stages.
I remember when I was pregnant with my youngest child, looking up the baby development information week after week. I looked forward to many milestones weekly, but you also have those ones you consider to be huge. One of those for me was when her eyes opened. If I remember correctly, this comes between week 26 - 28. I couldn't wait to be upon the moments when her eyes would open and just to think she would look upon her hands and think to herself, "Oh! What are these? How lovely they look. How pretty." Just the thought of her amazement at looking upon her body parts for the first time was just so tickling to my soul. I can't explain it. Yet, even in that milestone, it still would be 12 - 14 weeks before her eyes could behold light. She could see, but alas she was still only seeing in a dark womb.
It got me to thinking about seeing spiritually. The goal of our eyes, just like hers in the womb, is to behold life in all its brightness...and by "life in all its brightness," I am strictly referring to Him who is Life. One day we will see Him face to face, but until then the eyes must go through a time of maturing. A baby's eyes are not developed the day before they arrive, but 12 - 14 weeks prior to mature them enough to behold light, exercising them for this day with what they currently are able to see. Just the same, we don't just see one day and immediately have developed enough vision to see it all. A baby starts seeing from weeks 26 - 28, though still just in a dark womb. Even now, any time on this earth, we really only see through a dark lens. Howbeit, the more we open our eyes and see in the dark, the more the images come into focus. By the time we turn on the lights we are fully prepared for what we will behold, having already seen it in the dark.
Two nights ago I had a dream that I was enjoying a moment of peace and restoration with a salve upon my eyes. It was not the type of salve that would cloud one's vision, but it was my understanding that this salve protected my eyes. My brother came up to me, attempting to remove my salve by force. Can you imagine such a thing? How desperate someone must be to come and remove the salve you have on your eyes. He had sores in abundance and wanted the salve to heal them. The problem is he was trying to not just have some of the salve, but all of it that was already upon my eyes. I stopped him and told him that yes the salve could heal his sores and he could use it, but he cannot have it all nor did he need it all. There was enough for him to have some without taking all from me and leaving me without my own salve. I helped him with a second go round, to have some eye salve for his sores, enduring through the desperation to be temperate as to not take everything for himself.
The dream speaks other things to me, pertinent to what is going on but one thing it did show me is this overconsumption to reap a faster result. Just like a dream I had of him before trying to burn up all the wood to get warmer faster, but that would be to the cost of not having enough wood in the long run. Seeing takes patience, as does healing, as does warming -- which these actually hinge off of seeing. There is a reason why Jesus says (a quote from Isaiah) that 'having eyes, they don't see; having ears, they don't hear; though with hearts, they don't understand, lest they turn (repent) and I heal them.'
Seeing is a process, and it starts with seeing your need -- that is, seeing who you really are, a desperate sinner. When we pray for seeing, how often do we pray to see some spiritual revelaion, not at all thinking that seeing our own vile hearts is a part of that process? We think of seeing angelic beings, but God seems to be more into having us see ourselves. That is for a reason. People who do not see their sores will never see they needed a salve. It is painful to see others go through this. It is even more painful to go through it yourself, but we all do. Slowly, God allows us to see areas we never knew existed. He heals them in this process of life, all as stages to be able to see that final result: Him, face to face ... like the man in the passage whose final result was seeing clearly; like a newborn's birth into the light of a bright birth room, whose eyes are just then mature enough, though long "opened," to lock with yours.
I ask you to join me in praying that the Lord would have His way in healing and restoring sight to ourselves and those who are hurting and know they need Him. Give us endurance to not treat You as a quick-fix, but a lasting and permanent one.
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