Jul 13, 2008

Was Blind But Now I See

Ever watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition? That is quite possibly my favorite television program of all time. At the least, it ranks in the top 5.

I just finished watching tonight's episode. Oh.my.word. I was moved to tears once again.

The young man in the wheelchair, Patrick Henry Hughes, is now 19 years old, and has been blind since birth. He's been "confined" to his chair for most of his life because he's never been able to fully extend his arms and legs.

Here's an excerpt I found on a website dedicated to this special family:

"Patrick Henry is an amazing pianist. By the age of two, the toddler could play songs on the piano after hearing them only once. The gifted young man is not only a university student, but also plays a wide array of musical instruments, is an accomplished singer, and an exuberant trumpet player in the University of Louisville School of Music Marching and Pep Band. The remarkable Patrick Henry has commented in previous interviews he feels he’s “been blessed” and is grateful for his abilities." (emphasis mine)

So here's my question: What's my problem? Why is it when I have "issues," most of which are temporary, why do I sometimes tend to let it get to me? I'm talking small things, ya'll. I mean when one of my kids cops an attitude about doing school work or my dh comes home with a grumpy heart, or bills aren't working out the way I want them to. And of course, it's never just one thing; it's when they all pile up all around me and seem to come at me from every direction.

My "issues" of daily life seriously pale in comparison to young Patrick Henry. How do I get so wrapped up in "stuff" that I forget to remember the important things?

One thing Patrick Henry said was, "I'm just an ordinary guy living my life. I don't see blindness as being a disability; I see it as an ability, and sight as a disability." He went on to say that people with sight tend to look at the outer person, whereas he could only see the inner person. In other words, his blindness made him able to see...what's important.

Isn't that just like our Jesus? In the New Testament, He was able and merciful enough to make a blind man see. In fact, He did that on more than one occasion. He did allow them to physically see with their eyes, but He didn't leave them at just that. Because Jesus knew what Patrick later came to know: it is more important to see people on the inside.

Look at John 9:1-3:

"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'

'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'"

Oh Praise Jesus! That means when these difficult (and sometimes not that difficult) things come along and get me all flustered, they happen so that the work of God might be displayed in me!

Oh, Lord, help me remember that perspective!

Then look at what happens later in the Chapter (vs. 25-38). The Pharisees are questioning the used-to-be blind man about what Jesus did (trying to find fault in the Messiah). But look at this man's response; it's something beautiful:

"He [the man] replied, 'Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!'

Then they asked him, 'What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?'

He answered, 'I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?'

Then they hurled insults at him and said, 'You are this fellow's disciple! We are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don't even know where he comes from.'

The man answered, 'Now that is remarkable! You don't know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will. Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.'

To this they replied, 'You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!' And they threw him out.

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, 'Do you believe in the Son of Man?' (Jesus is getting very poignant here!)

'Who is he, sir?' the man asked. 'Tell me so that I may believe in him.'
Jesus said, 'You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.'
Then the man said, 'Lord, I believe,' and he worshiped him.

So this man was made to see the Lord for who He is, and he's made to see himself as a blind sinner in need of a Savior! Neither of which did he need "eyes" to see. Only the eyes of his heart.

Seeing people from the inside seems to be important to Jesus, especially when we're looking at ourselves.

I know I am a lost cause without Christ. I mean, it's pitiful! I can't even clean my house with a clean heart unless He's filling me with Him continually! Let alone home school three boys and wear all the other hats I have on my rack at any given moment...

(resident nurse, lawyer, judge, motivator, textile manager (laundry...hee hee), food manager, chef, accountant, coach, writer (of sorts), scheduler, interior decorator, occasional groundskeeper...I'm sure there's more!)

Wow. I'm seriously underpaid.

Just kidding, just kidding...the rewards are intangible, and many will come much later.

I will close tonight with this: here is a link (sorry, I couldn't figure out how to post the actual YouTube video right in there...I'll get there!) to a video of a song that Mr. Patrick Henry Hughes sang at the end of the show. Enjoy!



Paula (SweetPea) said...

I'm not a regular watcher of the show but have caught it from time to time the last month or so. I did see it Sunday night. I missed the first 10 minutes so I wasn't sure why PH was in the wheelchair. He is amazing both inside and out. His talent is just unbelievable. I saw the part where he played piano at 2 years old...it looked like his little arms were flopping around the keys but yet the sound was coordinated...at such a young age...only God could do that.

I did notice, unlike some other families, that they said oh my gosh instead of God's name. That was my first inclination they might be believers. I think they mentioned God toward the end also. How could a family not believe. His song at the end blew me away. I think he's in the process of making a CD. I'd definitely buy it if I could remember by that time.

I love how you tied in his physical blindness with our spiritual blindness. Even with my personal trials and deep heartache, I truly have nothing of which to complain. Even to verbalize that is still hard for me because I want to say "but, but" but my heart is in dire pain.

Thanks for a beautiful reminder.
Thanks for your most generous and very precious comments on my blog. I am humbled and honored to be graced with such words.

Blessings, friend.

Kelsey said...

You are so so right!

We are THAT Family said...

I love that show too. Thanks for sharing this.

And a big fat WELCOME to the bloggy world!

Jodie said...

So many things! First, thank you thank you thank you for adding me to your blog roll! I am so touched (and flattered!). I'm so thrilled to *meet* you!

I just finished reading all of your posts. I love your style - especially your clever titles. Sir Marks-a-Lot... sheer genius. :) And de chil'ren... I wish I'd thought o' that one! :)

I love the way your write - it's easy to read, it's entertaining and funny. Which maybe I should've mentioned first, as it is the trait I value highest in the human species. :)

Your boys are beautiful - and their nicknames are darlin'! I'm so glad you took the time to describe why they got those particular ones.

I'm off to add you to my blogroll, b/c I had like what I see here, cher.

Have a SUPER day!