The first verse of the popular hymn that brings comfort to so many goes like this
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me,
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.”
I have never been blind but I did have my second cataract surgery last week. Suddenly my visual world went from yellow and foggy to bright and white. Suddenly I could read four more lines on the sight chart, road signs and the sub-scripts on the TV. Sin is somehow like blindness. Life is distorted and out of focus because we are not seeing issues clearly. Amazing grace us like being able to see when you have been blind.
In John 9 Jesus heals a man born blind on the Sabbath. Jesus spits in the dust and makes mud because the man has no eyes and sends him to wash. The religious leaders debate if the seeing man is really the former blind man and since making eyes was considered work, they believed Jesus had broken the Sabbath law. The healed man is questioned. His parents are questioned. Social pressure is to identify Jesus as breaking the Sabbath but since the man was blind, he had not seen Jesus and because he was blind, he was uneducated about religious law. The healed man says, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. (John 8:25)” John Newton centuries later equates the gift of grace he received, tied to the helm of a slave ship trying to navigate a storm, hopelessly lost, to the change of going from blindness to sight. ”I was blind but now I see.” This is a physical way to explain the change that occurred when God reached into his life with amazing grace and saved him.
We have all had those times when we have been blind. We don’t really understand circumstances surrounding events and we jump to false conclusions. “Trust me!” are words that are surrounded by cynicism because of the betrayal of others that hurt us in the past. Trusting that a God we cannot see clearly to help us walk through a life that can be so threatening, is hard. We call it a “leap of faith.” Singers say, “Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the waters.” As we do, we receive amazing grace, forgiveness and sight.
The Easter resurrection opens our eyes to a God who walks through death and who is working in our world in ways we cannot see. We can become recipients of “amazing grace” and see. Thank you Lord.