What Do You See?

"And Jesus said to him, 'What do you want Me to do for you?' And the blind man said to him, 'Master, let me receive my sight." Mark 10:51

Helen Keller wrote a fascinating article entitled "Three Days to See" for the The Atlantic Monthly. You remember, of course, that Helen Keller was blind and deaf from a very early age, but overcame those barriers and learned to communicate. She learned about the world around her and helped us to see things that we often overlook.

She began by writing, “I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days at some time during his early adult life. Darkness would make him more appreciative of sight, silence would teach him the joy of sounds.”

She was prompted to write this article when a friend returned from a walk in the woods. “What did you observe?” Keller asked. “Nothing in particular” her friend responded. “How is it possible," she wondered, "to walk in the woods and see nothing worthy of note?" She went on to imagine what the budding trees of spring would look like and the appearance of the different kinds of bark. She then imagined what she would do if she were given three days to see.

She would spend the first day seeing the people whose companionship and kindness had made her life worth living. Keller was accustomed to sensing a person’s mood and qualities through the tips of her fingers. What an advantage she imagined she would have if she could see all the subtleties of expression.

On the second day she would rise with the dawn to see the thrilling miracle by which night is transformed into day. She would see as much of the world on that one day as possible. Art and nature and plays would be on her agenda that day.

On the third day she would get out into the city and see the faces of people as they went to work. She would un-focus her eyes for a while to see the kaleidoscope of color from the women’s dresses as they moved in the throng. She was certain that it must be a gorgeous spectacle. I had never thought of that before! On and on she goes. She admits that her three day agenda may be different from yours, but she is quite sure that if we knew that we would lose our sight tomorrow then we would cherish everything we saw in those last few hours.

The real purpose of her article she sums up in the last paragraph. “Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to other senses. Hear and smell and feel and taste as well as see the wonders of the world around you.”

I began GraceWaves over five years ago because I loved the image of God's washing His grace over us. I believe this deeply even when I don't live like it. My greatest challenge is to be aware of God's grace. To use all the senses of my faith to hear, and see, and feel what God is doing and saying is a constant challenge.

Silencing the clamors of the world and in my head is my greatest challenge. To do this I must find a way to be still and let God's Spirit blow through my life. God whispers to me, so I have to learn to pray quietly and listen to the silence. In these spiritual spaces, I find the beauty of God's grace all around me.

Think of faith as a sense. Believing ushers us into the world of the Spirit, and we see eternal truth and infinite goodness. It is hard, but live today as if this is your last one to sense God's wondrous grace. Start now. What do you see?


Dr. Terry Ellis
March 1, 2015