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This is a story about a man who had been blind from birth.  His daily routine was fairly deliberate because he had come to realize his limitations and his liberties.  In preparing for the day his hands, ears, legs, and nose became keenly more aware that they would have to make up for his blindness.   True to form they would kick in a heightened awareness of things around him so he would always be aware of where he was and what he needed to avoid.  He discovered through these other heightened senses that there was more out there than just “seeing.”  His daily functions depended on these other senses and body parts to make it so he could function, and function well.   What might have been thought by some to be an affliction or handicap was a broadening of what life is all about to him.  His hands became his eyes as he touched and reflected on those things he touched with great sensitivity.  His nose became his eyes as he realized the depth of scents that gave him visions of those things that he could never see.  His ears become his eyes as they would cause him to involuntarily turn his head when he heard a sound.  So quick his glance would go to a sound at times, that if you didn’t really know it, you wouldn’t think he was blind.  His legs became his eyes as they would take him to different places where his other senses could realize changes in temperature, sunlight, dark, and even hills or flatland.  One day he met a man who told him he knew about someone who could change another part of his body called his heart.   He told him about a Savior named Jesus who would forgive his sins and give him a life that would be abundant and ever growing.   His keen senses realized that what this man was saying was very sincere and seemingly very true.  In his enhanced use of his senses he had never felt what he was feeling at that moment.  He was needing to know more about the truth the man had shared with him.  He felt an inner desire in his heart to “hear” more about it and asked the man to share more about God with him.  He heard words that resonated with a deep desire in his life he didn’t even realize he had.   A desire for God.  As the man continued on he suddenly smelled a sweet fragrance in the room that he had not noticed before.  It was a fragrance like roses, but not a rose, more like a strange sweet perfume that gave him great peace and satisfaction.  Pretty soon he felt a tingling in his hands that made him realize that all this man was sharing about Jesus’ sacrifice was making him notice the palms in his hands.  As he ran his finger across the palms of his hands he could see Christ having nails put in his hands.  He imagined the strain of his body weight on those nails as He gave His life for him.  He suddenly felt a compassion and drawing he had never experienced before and he knew this was REAL.  Very real.  He told the man to stop and asked him, “What does all this mean to you?’  The man answered by saying, “It means everything to me.”  He asked again, “But why?”  The man’s voice changed and with a very measured response he said, “You see. I am also blind.” Astonished the young man said, “How did you know to stop and tell me, a blind man?”  The man answered, “Are you blind?”  The emotions could no longer be held back by the man sharing the gospel and he began to weep.  He turned to the young man and said, “I didn’t know.”  The young man answered, “I didn’t know either.”  “I do want to know what you have been reading to me though.”  The man answered, “I’m not reading anything to you, but I am telling you what I know from The Bible and how God has restored me.”  “It’s all I know to tell you.  I hope it’s enough.”   The young man realized that he was once again smelling the sweet fragrance from before and turned to the man and said, “What do I do now?”  After telling him all that God expected from him, the young man bowed his head and received Christ.  As he lifted his eyes to heaven he felt the sunshine as never before and for the first time he could see.  Not with his eyes, but with his heart.  He could see what real life really was and what he had desired for all these years and he wept from blind eyes.  His ears picked up that the other man was leaving and he called out to him, “Where are you going.” The man said, “It’s time for me to go but I was wondering if we could meet here tomorrow and talk about what happens next?”  The young man smiled and said, “I would like that.”  From that moment on they met at the same place every day for weeks and developed a true friendship in the faith, one blind man to another.

In John 1:45-50  Phillip had found his brother Nathaniel and said to him, We have found Jesus of Nazareth.   Nathaniel answered, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Phillip said, “Come and see!”  Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to Him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.”  Nathaniel asked Jesus how He knew him.  Before Phillip called you I saw you under the fig tree.  Nathaniel said, “Rabbi,  You are the Son of God, the King of Israel.”   Jesus said, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe?  You will see greater things these.”

We are all blind until we come and see Jesus.  We are all skeptical that the Holy Spirit can cause a sweet fragrance to come off the words of hope from God’s Word.  We all like sheep wander around with no hope and no shepherd until we come and see Jesus.  He takes the scales off our eyes so we can truly see hope, peace, and abundant life.  May our hearts and minds have a keen sense of what serving a living God can mean.  It’s a radical change to everything about us and the end result is SIGHT.   If you need some encouragement today about whether God is alive and active, HE IS!  If you are really questioning in your faith if all this is worth it. IT IS!!  If you haven’t smelled the sweet fragrance of God lately, ask Him to make you spiritually sensitive again to His Presence and awaken your heart.  Without Him we are blind!!

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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