A few days ago, I met a blind woman. I was not prepared for the heartbreak I would experience. I went with my mentor to go visit this sweet elderly lady, not really knowing what to expect. I quickly learned that she lives alone with her cat, never leaves the house unless she has a doctor’s appointment, and hardly ever gets visitors or calls from family and friends. She has a nurse that comes twice a week for three hours at a time, but that’s not a lot of company. And if that’s not enough to put someone in a bad mood, she also can’t see.
This lady I could tell had once been full of joy, but life’s circumstances had sucked most of it out of her. We asked her if she ever went outside, and she replied, “What’s the point? I can’t see the birds or the blooming trees.” We tried to console her saying that she could feel the sun and hear the birds chirping, but not having the precious gift of sight was what dwelt in her mind. We asked her if she could still garden at all, and she said, “How can I? I sure miss it. I loved gardening. That was my favorite thing to do.” We asked how often her family calls… “Oh not too often.. Occasionally they’ll call me.” We asked her if anything good had been on the radio lately, and she replied, “Just Dave Ramsey with his Financial Peace University..” “Do you like him?” we asked. “Not really, he’s too stuck on himself.. I guess it’s ’cause he’s made so much money teaching others how to manage their money.” This lady had a sense of humor despite her circumstances. I laughed a lot in the hour I spent with her.
But then, one specific statement she said broke my heart. My mentor told her that she should get out of the house and do something with his family. She replied, “Oh, I’m not good company anymore.” He said that she had a lot that she could teach his sons and knock them into shape, and she said, “No, I’ve run out of wise things to say. They wouldn’t want to spend time with me.” She underestimated her value. I could tell that she felt worthless, and she didn’t want to be a bother to anyone, so she just rejected what he said. She rejected God’s truth that she is fearfully and wonderfully made.
But in that visit, she taught me something even though she said she had nothing to teach anyone. She wasn’t even trying to and she probably won’t ever know it, but I learned a lot more from this lady than she learned from me. She taught me not to take our blessings for granted. Especially our gift of sight. There are so many beautiful things we take for granted. The sunsets, the stars, the blooming flowers, the falling leaves, mountains, beaches, and the faces of loved ones. Imagine that all of that suddenly gets taken away from you. I personally love traveling and exploring God’s beauty all over the world, and that would be huge if that got taken away from me. But we don’t know what God has planned for our future. The one thing I do know is that Jesus has commanded something of us.
He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) The devil will send many trials your way because he wants to steal your joy. He will destroy your joy if you let him. But when we passionately pursue Jesus and his calling for our lives, NOTHING, no matter how big or small, can destroy the joy that comes with following Jesus.
The blind lady taught me that NOW is the time to go and be a light in the world and pursue my God-sized dreams. Not once I hit a certain age. Not when I make enough money. Not once I’ve learned enough. We are called to go and make disciples wherever we are. We are called to passionately pursue our Lord. We are called to love radically and without limits. Are you doing these things today, or are you just trying to make it through your Monday like every other day of the week? I feel like a lot of days, I’m just passing through life trying to get everything done that I need to for the next day. It’s rare that I drop what I’m doing and just go live and love abundantly. I’m going to make a conscious effort to do that more because we don’t know how long we have, and we need to make the most of the beautiful blessings and unique talents God has given each of us.
SIDE NOTE: If anyone knows of someone who could be a friend to the sweet blind lady and go visit her regularly to just talk and keep her company, please let me know. I can definitely get you in contact with her because she could really use a great friend. I thought it would be really cool if someone had time maybe once a week or something to go read her Bible stories and just talk about life with her!