Escaping the Country of the Blind
by Kyle Idleman from his book"40 Days"
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.
The British author H. G. Wells is most famous for his science fiction novels such as The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Time Machine. But he also wrote short stories, including one called "The Country of the Blind."
It's a story about a fictional village in Ecuador, nestled high within the Andes. This village had been cut off from the rest of the world and long forgotten. And in this place, everyone in the village was blind.
The blindness had begun long ago due to a disease that caused all the children to be born blind, and it had continued through more than fifteen generations.
One day a lost mountain climber stumbled into the village. He had fallen down a remote peak and miraculously survived without major injury.
It didn't take the climber long to discover that he was the only one in the valley who had sight. No one even understood the concept of sight or had any idea of what seeing meant. These people had long forgotten what it was like to see the majestic mountains around them or the sun washing the clouds with color overhead. There was no descriptions passed along through the ages of what it might be to see. It was not something they understood. The people had no explanation for what their shriveled eyes were or why they were there.
Initially the foreigner tried to describe sight to them and help them understand the concept of sight. But every effort was futile. They didn't understand. In fact, they thought he was crazy and defective. If this man wanted to stay in this land, something had to be done.
And the man wanted to stay. There was a young lady there who had stolen his heart. But a marriage to this insane foreigner was unacceptable to her father and the rest of the village - unless…
A doctor there felt confident he could cure the man with a simple surgery to remove the man's eyes. It was his eyes, after all, that were affecting this man's brain, the doctor declared. And everyone in the village said, "Thank heaven for science." The surgery was scheduled.
On the day of his surgery, the man went for a walk. He simply planned to go to a lonely place where the meadows were beautiful and wait until the hour of his procedure. "But as he walked he lifted up his eyes and saw the morning, the morning like an angel in golden armor, marching down the steeps," Wells wrote. "It seemed to him that before this splendor he and this blind world in the valley, and his love and all, were no more than a pit of sin."
So the man kept walking, and he looked up at the mountains with renewed vision and began to see gullies and chimneys where he could climb back through the towering gorge. And soon the man who could see escaped the country of the blind.
We live in the country of the blind. We experience awakening. God opens our eyes. We're able to see, but it doesn't take long to realize that there are people all around us who think we really need to be cured of our sight.
We come to church on weekends, and our eyes are opened and conviction comes in our hearts. We know God has spoken to us, but Monday comes and we find ourselves back in the country of the blind. Everyone thinks we're a little bit crazy; we've taken this too far; and what would really be best is if we would go back to being blind.
Or you come back from church camp after a spiritual awakening. Things are going to be different. But you find yourself in the country of the blind, and the people all round want to cure you of your sight.
This is where we live. And we must continually open our eyes. We must focus on the heights above and press toward the beauty where God wants to draw us.
We must continue to pray David's prayer, that God would open our eyes - each day - so that we might see what God wants us to see even in this country of the blind.
Change your perspective. Plan a retreat. Block off a weekend on your calendar. Or a day. Or an hour, if that's all you can do. The key is to break out of your routine. The goal is to go somewhere to look and to listen, to see the Scripture, to open your eye s and refocus on your heavenly Father. Start now with a walk around your block and pray as you go.
Do you live in the country of the blind?