The Advantage of Blindness

In the short film, Rewind, the narrator asks the question, “what advantage does a blind man have?” In describing how a blind man had won a game of Russian roulette and received over a million dollars worth of diamonds, he mentions “safes talk, shoes, talk, guns talk, bullets talk. The mind sees better than the eyes.”

Interestingly, Jesus also spoke about the advantage that a blind man has. In John 9, Jesus said, “For judgment I came into the world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees (religious leaders) near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your built remains.”

Jesus used blindness as a metaphor to talk about how we perceive reality and the arrogance that can come when we think we see. The advantage of blindness is that a humility emerges that requires a dependence on something more, something deeper than what we can perceive with our eyes. The blind have to rely upon what they hear, what they feel, what they smell. What the mind can perceive through these other senses give a much fuller picture of reality than the eyes alone can give.

Spiritually, what we can perceive is not the full picture. Ultimately, in light of the vast spiritual realities around us … we are blind. Learning to see means acknowledging this and stopping to listen … “but let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

How often do I respond to life by the “image” I first see rather than stopping to listen to what is greater than my eyes?


~ by Ted Wueste on May 1, 2010.

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