A blind view of heaven. I was minding my own business, singing worship in church yesterday when it happened. In the only row in front of my mom and me sat a mother and her blind son. No more than seven, he touched my heart and I had to stifle tears through the next twenty-some minutes of singing. It wasn’t so much the fact that he was blind as it was the thought that how beautiful would heaven look to this boy when he got there.
Not by sight. If you’ve spent any time in a church at all, you’ll know that faith is the crux of spirituality. And that faith is not built on experience or sight alone. Yet, us consistent churchgoers continue to propagate the cliche that the awakening of our faith is the opening of our eyes. I have to admit, this makes sense on the surface, but once you get past that thin layer, does it hold? Maybe it does for you, but I have to push back on this one.
Untainted view. For all the beauty that God has given us in this world, it is by nature imperfect, tarnished. If it is only tarnished in its impermeability, it is still at its core imperfect. I can’t help but imagine that this blind boy’s vision of heaven isn’t tainted by such imperfection. Sure, I believe he’ll be blown away when he gets there, but only because his imagination is limited by his humanity. Unlike the seeing majority, he won’t have the broken examples of his earthly experience to stand in the way of his perception of God’s heavenly kingdom. I’d argue that his view of heaven is far purer than mine will ever be.
Losing sight. Maybe gaining clarity on God and heaven isn’t sight at all. What if instead, it’s becoming more comfortable with closing our eyes? What if faith is the growing comfort with not being able to rely on our senses (see Descartes’ Meditations)? What if our senses, particularly our sight with which we take in about 80% of the world, are merely to aid us in our spiritual youth? Is deafness or blindness so much an impairment?
So, friend, I turn to you. Do we rely too much on senses, on feeling and experience or am I missing the mark? Are we so attached to the blessing that we cannot depart with the senses that perceive them or do we need those senses? Is sight a crucial component to faith? Is it possibly the training wheels to faith? Or could sight actually be detrimental to our faith? I implore you, please tell me what you think. Is God’s the Kingdom of the blind?