I will remind you of the works of the Lord,
and tell of what I have seen.
By the words of the Lord his works come into being
and all creation obeys his will.
As the sun in shining looks on all things,
so the work of the Lord is full of his glory.
The Lord has not granted to the holy ones
to tell of all his marvels
which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed
for the universe to stand firm in his glory.
He has fathomed the deep and the heart,
and seen into their devious ways;
for the Most High knows all the knowledge there is,
and has observed the signs of the times.
He declares what is past and what will be,
and uncovers the traces of hidden things.
Not a thought escapes him,
not a single word is hidden from him.
He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom,
he is from everlasting to everlasting,
nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away,
he needs no one’s advice.
How desirable are all his works,
how dazzling to the eye!
They all live and last for ever,
whatever the circumstances all obey him.
All things go in pairs, by opposites,
and he has made nothing defective;
the one consolidates the excellence of the other,
who could ever be sated with gazing at his glory?
As Jesus left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’ And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’ Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man. ‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus. Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,’ the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.
“Master, let me see again.”
For a world that is truly global, where the Internet and satellite communications give us instant access to the world and people all over, I wonder if it has made us more aware. Yes, perhaps we are more aware intellectually — we know more about history, geography, science, politics, culture, news… more than our grandparents did in their time. But in knowing all this, have we become more compassionate and more understanding?
I have faith that we are a more compassionate society, yet in our hustle and bustle, do we also block out the things that should require our attention when we zoom from one appointment to another? Do we notice the pregnant woman who needs a seat, the crippled man trying to get around, the old woman climbing the stairs with her heavy basket? Ignorance can be bliss. Sadly, we are surrounded by people who believe that “if I don’t know it, it’s not my problem”. In Singapore, the popular Hokkien phrase is “boh wah eh tai ji” (none of my business).
But it is a problem, and it is our problem! Are our hearts so hardened that we cannot perceive the plight of others? Do we suffer from blindness of our heart?
In the gospels, Jesus heals the blind in at least four or five separate incidents, and the blind see again and proclaim the wonders of God. They proclaim because they have all had faith, and experienced God’s mercy first-hand. What about those who have their sight? Jesus explains that those who do not know God would not be able to understand, even if they had all their faculties. He explained that the prophecy of Isaiah rang true in that “much as you hear, you do not understand; much as you see, you do not perceive. For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see.” (Matthew 13:14-16)
But if we would allow our hearts to be open, if we ask it of God, He would heal our hearts of their blindness, and open our minds to perceive His word. This healing would be our first-hand experience with God, and we would be like the blind men whom Jesus has healed. We would proclaim God’s greatness and, like Bartimaeus, pick ourselves up and follow Him.
The blindness that we see around us is not just the blindness of sight, but the blindness of the heart, the blindness caused by ignorance. Let us pray then for God to heal our hearts and those of the people in the world today.
(Today’s Oxygen by Annette Soo)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, for the times when our hearts have been ignorant to those around us, we ask for your forgiveness. Harden not our hearts, but fill them with love and compassion, so that those who perceive us will perceive instead the wonders of your love.
Thanksgiving: Thank you God for opening our minds and our hearts to Your Word and Your love. We give You thanks and praise forevermore!