May 24, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: We’re Not Blind

There’s an old saying that says, “Reality is what it is perceived to be.”

Recently, I was poignantly reminded of this fact. Being a preacher, I have done more than my fair share of funerals.

And I don’t mind doing funerals; it’s the weddings I despise. Somebody once asked me why I felt that way. I told them that it was because when I was doing a funeral, I was getting somebody out of life’s troubles, trials, and sorrows.

However, when I perform a wedding, the troubles, trials, and sorrows are just starting! But that’s another column for another day! (I’m being facetious, of course!)

Recently, I was called upon to do a funeral. As is my custom, I met with the family before the funeral and asked them to share things about their dearly departed loved one that they would like for me to weave into my sermon. I told them it could be serious stories, funny stories, favorite Bible verses, or just anything they wanted. They began to share.

Finally, somebody spoke up and said, “Somebody tell him the story about her brother putting her head under the water in the bathtub.” Quite naturally, this piqued my curiosity! Somebody began to tell me about how the dearly departed and her family was raised in the country.

Of course, this was years ago, so there wasn’t any modern day amenities, like swimming pools. If you wanted to go swimming in the summertime, it meant a trip to the lake or the swimming hole. For them, it was the lake. The dearly departed loved going swimming with her brothers and sisters, but she had a phobia about putting her head under the water. It just wasn’t going to happen.

So, her loving older brother devised a plan to help her overcome her phobia. One night he and the other siblings filled the bathtub with water. They eased their baby sister into the bathtub and the older brother began to slowly and lovingly let her head back into the water. His thought was that if he could calm her fear of having her head under water by using the safe confines of their bathtub, then the lake would be a cinch. Did I mention it was night?

Anyway, he gently and lovingly lowered her head into the water. It was almost like a preacher immersing a baptismal candidate into the baptismal waters. However, inexplicably, at the very instant her head went under the water, there was a power failure and all the lights went out. It was pitch dark in the bathroom.

As her brother brought her up, she opened her eyes to total darkness. Terrified, she began to scream, “Oh no! I’m blind!  I’m blind!” (I love telling that story. It’s funny to me!) Now, was she blind? No! But from her point-of-view, yes she was! She didn’t have all the facts. All she knew was she didn’t like putting her head under water to begin with, her brother talked her into doing so, it was light when her head went under the water, and it was dark when she came up! So, from her point-of-view, she was blind!

1 Corinthians 13: 12(KJV) states, “… now we see through a glass, darkly …”  That means that just as the lights going out on this little girl, sometimes the circumstances change in our lives and we have no clue as to what happened.

Unfortunately, too many times our view of reality is based more upon our lack of facts than our knowledge of the facts. We trust our senses – what we can see, smell, touch, taste, or hear – instead of having faith in God that He is in control of all things.

Reality is what it is perceived to be. So, let’s start making it a habit to perceive in our hearts that, even when we cannot see, if we have faith, we are not blind. Why? Because we see through the eyes of faith. And as long as we can see God through faith – that’s all we need! We’re not blind!

Brother Aaron

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