Sight is a gift. Most of us go through life without even thinking about it, while others have never known it. My grandma lost her vision at some point in my childhood. I remember her having surgeries and hoping for good results, that never came. I remember as a child, thinking it was funny that she would apply pepper to her plate of eggs until my grandpa would tell her to stop, because the eggs had become hidden under a spicy black pile. However, I also remember having an uneasy, uncomfortable feeling deep inside: this is not the way it is supposed to be! As I grew older, and would come back from college and seminary to visit, I remember my grandma assuring me that while she often felt useless without her sight, she consistently prayed for all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren by name. Although my grandma could not see, she was indeed a woman of vision. Vision not rooted in her eyes… but in her heart of faith as her prayers and God’s good graces carried all of us along. She has been with the Lord for many years, but I’m still seeing the fruit of her prayers.
Throughout these past weeks, I have seen and heard evidence that God is giving people vision. That vision bears fruit in many ways: people are more committed to prayer, face masks are handmade and distributed, churches are finding a voice on the internet, people are serving one another, providing meals, calling to check in on one another, donating to relief efforts. The soil of hearts that has long lay fallow is now ready; hungry, even, for the seeds of the Word of Truth, and people are emboldened to speak it. I see how the prayers of many are carrying those on the frontlines along… carrying us all along.
These are difficult days; I don’t wish to downplay that truth. Yet, I am so deeply encouraged in this season by the conversations I am having and the love I see being lived out. What I see is an answer to the prayer that has long been prayed in churches, and sung at weddings, including my own. “Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart…” You know the words. They are words that give us our identity, “Thou my great Father, I Thy true son”. They are words that tune our hearts, our songs, and our eyes to the future, “May I reach heaven’s joys, bright heaven’s Sun!” These are words of faith-inspired vision, “Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.”
Come what may, Lord, be our vision! Give us eyes to see what you are doing, and an eagerness to participate in it with you, as you build your Kingdom here. Give us faith to see how you are moving in and through us. In those times when we cannot see, when we are uncertain of how your plan of redemption works in this space… then, God, give us the courage and fortitude to pray, until our faith becomes sight.
Christ's peace rest on you!