My family was blessed to serve in Honduras twice last year on short term mission trips. Both times, we worked from Las Lajas, Honduras, ministering in nearby villages. In the village of El Divisio, a young blind boy named Jeffery greeted us. Jeffery might have been blind, but that didn’t stop us from seeing the presence of God on his countenance. His face beamed with joy. As we played in the yard of the church, he sat calmly taking in all the sounds around with interest. He almost looked as if he was praying. When we moved inside the church to worship, Jeffery made his way to the keyboard. His fingers began to play and his voice led us in song, but it wasn’t really his talent that we saw. It was his worship. This young boy with no sight worshipped God in freedom and joy I have rarely observed.
Jeffery couldn’t see us. His eyes hadn’t clued him in to our skin differences, physical imperfections, heights, or sizes. He didn’t notice if we were wearing our “Sunday best.” He couldn’t see who was singing or who wasn’t. He didn’t know if there were only 10 in attendance or 50. He had his mind’s eye on only One, Jesus who he was worshipping.
Since I have returned from Honduras, I have often wondered, “Perhaps Jeffery sees better than me.” Because my physical eyes see, I can get lost in the many activities to take in during worship. As an assistant pastor, I often find myself reviewing the order of worship, checking up on a ministry need, or watching the congregation. My eyes let me see so many good sights during worship like children caught up with one another or adults singing, hands raised and tears streaming. Often, my eyes have teared up looking on those who come forward to get right with God, and sometimes, tears of pain have fallen from my eyes for those pleading for God’s healing, strength, or grace. I see people gather to learn more more about God, receive relief from the press of daily life, and joyously fellowship with one another. But, my eyes, too often, can distract me from just “seeing” God alone during worship. To be honest, my eyes also see new toys to covet. They see behaviors to judge. They see irritations to dwell upon. They see messes left to be cleaned up. It’s through my eyes that devilish temptations to jealousy, lust, envy, and selfishness so often enter the eyes of my soul distracting me from looking intently upon the only One who matters, Jesus.
But Jeffery doesn’t see any of that. He only sees God when he worships. He sees Jesus distraction free. And perhaps, because of that, he sees better than me. Jeffery’s worship perfectly captures the meaning of the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.”
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace
By the way, the hymn writer of that song, Helen Lemmel, had lost her sight before she wrote this great hymn. Maybe that’s it. We must become blind to our distractions, our distortions, and our disenchantments before we can see.
Jeffery sees. So did Helen. What about you? Do you see?