Matt. 9:16,17 John 12:37-41
In his book, An Anthropologist on Mars, neurologist Oliver Sacks tells
about Virgil, a man who had been blind from early childhood. When he was 50, Virgil
underwent surgery and was given the gift of sight. But as he and Dr. Sacks found out,
having the physical capacity for sight is not the same as seeing.
Virgil's first experiences with sight were confusing. He was able to make out colors
and movements, but arranging them into a coherent picture was more difficult. Over time he
learned to identify various objects, but his habits--his behaviors--were still those of a
Dr. Sacks asserts, "One must die as a blind person to be born again as a seeing
person. It is the interim, the limbo . . . that is so terrible."
To truly see Jesus and his truth means more than observing what he did or said, it
means a change of identity.
Terry Seufferlein Norman, Oklahoma.
In his brilliant new book, Catching the Light, quantum physicist Arthur Zojanc writes
of what he describes as the "entwined history of light and mind" (correctly
described by one admirer as the "two ultimate metaphors of the human spirit").
For our purposes, his initial chapter is most helpful.
From both the animal and human studies, we know there are critical developmental
"windows" in the first years of life. Sensory and motor shills are formed, and
if this early opportunity is lost, trying to play catch up is hugely frustrating and
Prof. Zajoc writes of studies which investigated recovery from congenital blindness.
Thanks to cornea transplants, people who had been blind from birth would suddenly have
functional use of their eyes. Nevertheless, success was rare. Referring to one young boy,
"the world does not appear to the patient as filled with the gifts of intelligible
light, color, and shape upon awakening from surgery," Zajoc observes. Light and eyes
were not enough to grant the patient sight. "The light of day beckoned, but no light
of mind replied within the boy's anxious, open eyes."
Zajoc quotes from a study by a Dr. Moreau who observed that while surgery gave the
patient the "power to see," "the employment of this power, which as a whole
constitutes the act of seeing, still has to be acquired from the beginning." Dr.
Moreau concludes, "To give back sight to a congenitally blind person is more the work
of an educator than of a surgeon." To which Zajoc adds, "The sober truth remains
that vision requires far more than a functioning physical organ. Without an inner light,
without a formative visual imagination, we are blind," he explains. That "inner
light" -- the light of the mind -- "must flow into and marry with the light of
nature to bring forth a world."
National Right to Life News, March 30, 1993, p.
On November 30, 1991 fierce winds from a freakish dust storm triggered a massive freeway
pileup along Interstate 5 near Coalinga, California. At least 14 people died and dozens
more were injured as topsoil whipped by 50 mile-per-hour winds reduced visibility to zero.
The afternoon holocaust left a three-mile trail of twisted and burning vehicles, some
stacked on top of one another 100 yards off the side of the freeway. Unable to see their
way, dozens of motorists drove blindly ahead into disaster.
Today in the Word,
August 16, 1992.
The famous agnostic Thomas Huxley was once lovingly confronted by a very sincere
Christian. This believer stressed to Huxley that he was not in any way impugning Huxley's
sincerity. Nevertheless, might it not be possible that mentally the great scientist was
color blind? That is, some people cannot see traces of green where other people cannot
help but see it. Could it be that this was Huxley's problem--that he was simply blind to
truth that was quite evident to others? Huxley, being a man of integrity, admitted that
this was possible, and added that if it were, he himself, of course, could not know or
Interpreter's Bible, Vol. 8, p. 708.
For 51 years Bob Edens was blind. He couldn't see a thing. His world was a black hall
of sounds and smells. He felt his way through five decades of darkness. And then, he could
see. A skilled surgeon performed a complicated operation and, for the first time, Bob
Edens had sight. He found it overwhelming. "I never would have dreamed that yellow is
so...yellow," he exclaimed. "I don't have the words. I am amazed by yellow. But
red is my favorite color. I just can't believe red. I can see the shape of the moon--and I
like nothing better than seeing a jet plane flying across the sky leaving a vapor trail.
And of course, sunrises and sunsets. And at night I look at the stars in the sky and the
flashing light. You could never know how wonderful everything is."
Max Lucado, God Came Near, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 13.
At the very time Stalin was liquidating millions, the Rev. Hewlett Johnson of
Canterbury spoke of him as bringing in the kingdom of Christ.
Paul Johnson, Modern
Times: The World from the Twenties to the Eighties, Harper and Row, 1983.
The captain of the Titanic refused to believe the ship was in trouble till water was
ankle deep in the mail room. Only then was it apparent the multi-layered hull had been
pierced and the unsinkable ship was going to sink. Ships that could have arrived before
the great ocean liner went down weren't summoned until it was too late.
Leadership, Vol. X, No.3, Summer, 1989, p. 27.