Do you have eyes but fail to see…? Mark 8:18

Jesus has several notable instances of healing blind men—Bartimaeus called out to Jesus and was healed because of his faith (Mark 10, Luke 18); another blind man was healed in stages (Mark 8); and a man born blind was healed by mud put on his eyes (John 9). Then scripture speaks of spiritual darkness, blind leaders of the blind, blinded minds, or darkened understanding, with many other allusions to a state in which there’s no spiritual light.

I’ve been particularly sensitive to this topic recently as I’ve experienced visual difficulties and temporary loss of vision. Being partially blinded, even though it wasn’t prolonged, was a frightening prospect. But during this time, I experienced an even more troubling issue, and it’s just what Jesus spoke about: I’ve discovered spiritual blind spots, attitudes and spaces where I thought I saw, but my lens was completely distorted to my own perspective.

Melynda, my friend who does mediation with couples considering divorce, says that in most mediations the issue at hand is projection—“a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting” (Wikipedia). Essentially, when we have a problem, we think it’s the other person.

Our blind spots come as a result of our training/teaching or our environment, and they typically keep us from perceiving truth about ourselves or others. But that’s no difficulty for the indwelling Holy Spirit. He is able to open our blinded eyes and to restore our sight. There is only a single caveat: “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6) If so, ask Jesus in faith, believing, to restore your sight. He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20).

Father, with Bartimaeus I cry out, “I want to see.” In Jesus’ name. AMEN.


Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3

At one time or another throughout the year, a specialist checks various bodily parts to see if they’re functioning correctly. For my last checkup I saw Dr. Ken, my wonderful ophthalmologist. After numerous tests with various sophisticated machines, he determined that my vision (with my glasses) was excellent.

Actually, I could have told him that. When I’m in the company of others, I can readily see the flaws, clay feet, and areas needing attention in all their lives. And my lunch date today told me that she has that same acuity. It’s so much easier to see perceived weaknesses in others than to identify them in our own lives. I recently read that the world around us is a mirror in which we see ourselves—and that’s why we sometimes don’t like what we see.

How often does someone who genuinely loves us have the boldness to point out the blind spots in our lives? Attitudes or behaviors that wound or that detract from those precious love fruits we so want to share? Jesus wouldn’t have mentioned “blind spots” if they didn’t exist in the lives of his children. And he wants us to be healed—through surgery of the Spirit or through personal discipline (with the help of the Spirit).

So I’m actually thankful that someone who loved me remarked on a trait of which I was totally oblivious. Moi? I admit that I was completely ignorant before that loving revelation, but ever since, I have practiced and prayed to eliminate it. I want my spiritual vision to be just as keen as my physical.

What about you?

Father, we don’t always know ourselves. Sometimes we project images that don’t represent our hearts. Open our eyes; help us to be rid of the “blind spots” and forget about the specks in those other eyes. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.