We See Too Much
When I was in my early teens, a firework exploded in my face, burning my eyes and blackening them with powder. I’ve written about that accident in “The Night My Mom Wrestled with Jesus.” I thought I was blind. I feared that never again would I see my mom and dad, mountains and sunsets, fast cars and beautiful women. The millions of sights that cross before our eyes daily would vanish; I would see darkness alone.
Many years later, a different explosion rocked my world, one that I set off. It transformed my life into a pile of rubble. Everything by which I had defined myself was obliterated. I could still see, but all I beheld was loss and heartache, anger and regret, fear and hopelessness. These were the sights that crossed before my eyes day and night.
I lamented that I could see, for all I saw was a collage of sadness. I saw a past riddled with stupid, unfixable mistakes. I saw a present replete with misery. I saw a future void of hope. I saw a million sights, and none of them were pleasing to the eye.
Gradually, year by year, I came to learn an invaluable lesson: sometimes we see too much.
When Peter, James, and John saw the wonders happening on the Mount of Transfiguration; when a bright cloud enveloped Jesus and the Father spoke; the disciples fell on their faces and trembled in fear. Our Lord then walked over to them, touched them, and said, “Arise, do not be afraid.” And lifting their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.
They saw no one, except Jesus alone. Sometimes we see too much. We can see so many good things that we are blind to the Giver. We can see so many bad things that we are blind to the Sustainer. Whether we are overcome by happiness on the mountaintop or overwhelmed by sorrow in the valley, our vision can be our greatest weakness.
To see Jesus alone is not to be blind to everything else, but to see it through him. To see that he is the forgiver of our past, the companion of our present, and the hope of our future. To see that our family, our vocations, our home and health and every other good gift is but one more token of his love.
To see no one, except Jesus alone, is to see everything aright. For in him and by him and through him are we, the blind, given eyes to see.