Monday, December 5, 2011

Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord!

Ever since Elise was born, I have learned quite a bit about blindness. Although Elise is 7-years-old now, I am still left with a certain amount of wonder about what exactly she sees. We know she sees light. She is what you would call a “light gazer”. When she’s in a dark room and you turn on a light, she immediately turns her head toward it, like a plant growing toward the sun’s rays. We have affixed twinkle lights up above her bed, and give her many opportunities to look at anything that is illuminating and sparkling throughout the day. We don’t have the slightest idea if she necessarily enjoys looking at them or if it is just a physical reaction for someone who lives otherwise in a blank world -- not seeing faces, toys, or other objects. Light is the only “visual” element that evokes any reaction from Elise.

In the Bible, there are several references to Jesus healing the blind. When you have a blind child, I think these stories always hit home more than with others. You can truly imagine what it would be like for your child to be one of the blessed few who were healed by Jesus and given the gift of seeing their loved ones and the world around them.

The other day, I saw a video on YouTube of a 10-year-old boy who is blind and autistic singing the praise song “Open the Eyes Of My Heart Lord” in front of a large crowd of worshipers. Before having Elise, I would have watched this video with a sense of happiness for the boy and his parents. After living in the world of “special needs” now for so long and having a child who, among many other things, is also blind and exhibits autistic tendencies, I saw this video on a much more personal level. This little boy, with all of his challenges, has an emotional investment in this song. He isn’t just singing the words. He is feeling them.

Only after hearing this song, did I realize that in those Bible stories I heard as a child, Jesus wasn’t only healing someone’s physical blindness, but he was using their faith in Him to open the eyes of all those around Him who saw these miracles. To open the eyes of those who could see physically, but whose hearts were blind to God’s glorious truths. Those who were misinformed, bitter, stubborn, or just thought they knew better.

In our darkest time immediately following Elise’s birth, I called to Jesus and He answered. Not in the form of healing Elise, but in the form of giving me the gift of being nearer to Him, and knowing Him better. That’s how he answered. That’s what I want others to see. That when you open the eyes of your heart to the Lord, things start to change. All of a sudden, having a kid like Elise isn’t a curse or a drag on your life. It’s a blessing. Your circumstances, however terrible they are by the world’s standard, take on a new meaning.

I do feel as though Jesus has given me a new awareness of the world around me through living the last 7 years with a child like Elise. I also know that I have only taken a peek. I want to ask the Lord to open the eyes of my heart this Christmas season and beyond. Open them wide. Open them indefinitely.

It’s like walking through a dark room. You don’t see what is there. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sometimes you can feel your way around the room, touching various pieces of furniture and other belongings. You know they are there because you can feel them. I feel God all of the time. But that’s just not good enough. I want to turn the light on and see Him. Just as you have a more clear and complete view of the items in your room once you turn the light on, you can also have a more clear and complete view of Jesus Chirst, simply by opening your eyes!

This is something that I am challenging myself with this Christmas season. Seeing the birth of Christ for what it is. THE BIRTH OF CHRIST! No, I won’t stop shopping, enjoying Christmas parties, or watching Rudolph with my kids. I merely want to make more room this year for Jesus. It’s simple. I’m going to ask God to open the eyes of my heart, but I still have to be the one to turn on the light!

Here is the video I wrote about. It's pretty cool...

(His dad tells his story at the beginning, and then he begins singing around 3:25)

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