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The Blind Leading the Blind

This week I experienced my own blindness. Well, it wasn’t exactly that I experienced it as much as that I became aware of it.

Every week I go to a local bank to make a deposit for work. The bank has recently been renovated to be very open and spacious with lots of marble or granite or something elegant like that. When you walk in, you automatically become silent. And if speaking is necessary, you find yourself verbalizing in hushed tones.

Normally there is no one in line the time of day that I go. At most there might be one person ahead of me finishing up at the teller window. But this week was very different. When I walked in I noticed immediately that there were two people already at the teller windows as well as a woman with bright purple hair and man who looked like he might be a farmer waiting in line behind the roped off area. So I quietly took my place in line behind the man.

No one spoke.

Within a few minutes another lady arrived wearing bright clothes and looking as though she might be mildly mentally disabled. She of course walked up behind me and stopped. Again, no one spoke.

Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed a man walking up towards the side of the teller counter in an odd fashion. He must have come in the side door rather than the main door. He was walking with slow unsure steps with both arms stretched out in front of him as though he were reaching for something. As he continued past each one of us in the line, we all watched in confused silence.

I began wondering to myself, “Is this man blind?” Surely not. Why would a blind man come to town and walk through a large building with no seeing-eye dog or white cane? But sure enough, before anyone found their tongue, he walked right into the teller counter and sidestepped his way to the window until he ran into the man already standing there.

“Oh I’m so sorry,” he said. “I’ll just wait right here.” And he stepped back a few paces along the counter to wait.

At that moment I realized that due to our stupid silence, this man had no idea there were four other people standing there in line with him. In fact, there were also a number of other bank employees present as well, none of us making a sound. But he could not see any of us.

Well this was awkward. There is no protocol for such a situation. Then the purple-haired lady spoke up and completely startled the man by saying, “There is a line over here.” The farmer then offered to help him to the line, but the man preferred to stand near the counter so that he knew where he was, graciously thanking the farmer for the offer.

Other people had come in after him, so I turned around to let those behind me know that this man was also waiting to see a teller but was staying up close because he couldn’t see. I didn’t want them to disregard him or get mad when he stepped up to the window.

Since I was now abnormally facing backwards, the mentally disabled lady started talking to me, asking me about my clothes, where I worked and if she could come visit me there. Behind me I could now hear the farmer and purple-haired lady begin speaking to each other. And the new folks who had come in? Well it was two ladies, one pushing the other in a wheelchair. When I had spoken about the blind man, they looked up and said, “well, we know him!” and began a loud conversation with him from across the bank.

I wanted to throw back my head and laugh out loud right then. It had become a party in the bank! Instead, I just smiled and continued to talk to the lady behind me, answering all of her questions and asking her about how she spends her own time.

You see, it took a blind man to teach the rest of us “sighted” people to see each other. We often get caught up in what is protocol, political correctness, etiquette, etc. and choose to do the “proper” thing rather than the RIGHT thing. To me, the “proper” thing is often lukewarm in reality. And the angel of the church in Laodicea was very clear about that! “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.” (Revelation 3:15-16 MSG) "You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” (Revelation 3:17 NLT)

Thank you, Lord, for showing me my blindness to those souls around me!! Each one is a child You want to see in Your kingdom. Even if I only have a moment to pass through someone’s life, I want to be a blessing to them. I pray to daily be like the man born blind who Jesus healed, crying out, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25 NIV)

#encouragement #growth #relationships

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