Listen to lyrics ‘I once was blind, but now I see’Published 12:00am Saturday, July 13, 2013
I recently heard a story with a message that opened my eyes to how we see the world around us.
Skye Jethani, senior editor of Leadership Journal, challenged those of us who attended the Wilberforce Conference using the first words of the song, “Amazing Grace.” We sing, “I once was blind, but now I see.” But he said it’s not just about sight. Then, he asked the thought-provoking question, “Do we truly see?”
He followed this question with a story about Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. Every morning, ambulances would go to the train station to pick up the dying, who were abandoned there the night before.
Mother Teresa asked to personally care for one man in terrible condition. Rats and maggots were crawling on his body. He only had hours to live. That morning she sat beside his bed and prayed and did all she could do to comfort him.
As life was leaving his body, he opened his eyes for a moment, said “Thank you,” and died. Mother Teresa was heard to say later that day, “I had the privilege this morning of caring for the dying Christ.”
She was referring to Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:35 – 40, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’…’Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Jethani commented this tiny Albanian nun had no wealth, no position of power or authority, not even a great education; but presidents and popes listened to her. “I suggest that what made her different was not merely what she did in the world, but how she saw the world.
“Where others saw a dying beggar, she saw the face of Christ. Where others saw worthless street kids, she saw the children of God. Where others saw a president, she saw a man like any other in need of a Savior’s grace. Mother Teresa’s sight, how she saw the world, proceeded her impact in the world,” Jethani said.
Jesus said He came to give sight to the blind and warned followers, “You have eyes, but you do not see.” I was challenged by this message to not just change my world, but change the way I see the world around me.
The words of the song, Hosanna, by Hillsong, would be my prayer to the Lord, “Heal my heart and make it clean; Open up my eyes to the things unseen; Show me how to love like You have loved me; Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist. Her email address is email@example.com.