Monday, February 27, 2012

The Blind Leading the Blind


It's an age when new horizons begin to open up.

At the age when most parents are watching with trepidation as their teenager gets behind the wheel of a car for the first time, my friend had to tell her son he was going blind.

He might never drive a car.

As you can imagine, it was devastating for her as she watched so many things that were precious to her son be taken away.

In the book of John there is an account of Jesus and his disciples walking along the road, when they came upon a blind man.  The disciples asked what was a natural question at the time, "Who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?"

Why do we always see difficult circumstances as punishments or judgement from God?

Jesus answered them, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this has happened so that the works of God may be displayed in him."

Sometimes we do bring difficulty on ourselves.

Other times we are chosen to be the one to experience a trial so that the works of God can be displayed in us.  

I really believe that is what's going on right now.  

"I think the biggest blessing of all, is that I lost my sight."


Garrett actually said this to a crowd of two hundred.

The event was a fundraiser for research into the cure for his rare genetic condition, Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.  When he rose to speak, I think many were expecting an account of how difficult this condition has made his life, a listing of all of the good things the condition has taken from him, and a plea to give money to find the cure.

Instead, what we heard was a young man with greater sight

and greater wisdom

than most adults in the room,
a young man rejoicing over the blindness that has allowed him to really see God clearly.

This blindness was no accident, no freak of nature.  

No accident that the young man afflicted has parents who have pointed him to Jesus throughout his life.

No accident that it happened to a student who is ridiculously smart, so the blindness is just a minor academic hurdle.

No accident that the gene that has mutated in Garrett is the exact gene being used in ground-breaking research just four hours from where he lives.

No accident that it affected the Haywoods, a family so outgoing, so relational, so servant hearted, and so plugged-in to the community that their plight brought wide-reaching awareness of the condition that will benefit all others with the condition.

No accident that God chose a family who had always been faithful to give glory to His Name.

He knew they could be trusted, that His works would be displayed in them.  

He knew it even when they didn't.

As I listened to Garrett list off the blessings God has given him through his blindness, I became painfully aware of my own blindness.

Last year as I grieved and prayed with Kendra over Garrett's diagnosis, I also thanked God for sparing my son.  I was so thankful that my son could see perfectly.  

So, who is the real blind one?  Me.

My prayers need to change--to follow the model of Greg and Kendra--that God would take my son and use him however He saw fit to display His works.

Would I really want my son to have a life free of trial and discomfort

        if it meant that he would miss learning to see as Garrett sees?

Oh, no.

If you want to learn more about Garrett's condition

If you want to help with the cure (be sure to note LHON in the comment section.)


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