Driving by feel

Published 10:26 pm Friday, May 4, 2012

By Chris Surber

I know an aging and ailing man who, though he had lost well over 90 percent of his ability to see, insisted for years that he was not blind. Much to the endangerment of fellow drivers, citizens on city street sidewalks, old women in crosswalks, dogs utilizing fire hydrants, and generally every living creature on or near a city street, he continued to drive.

He once told me not to worry about his driving. He had downsized to a smaller vehicle that he could more easily “drive by feel.”


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Whenever I tell this story, people laugh. Occasionally an insightful person will even remark about what stubbornness must drive the will of such a man. It’s easy to see the folly of a blind man who refuses to accept the fact that he cannot see.

However, this man is each one of us. We are all equally stubborn when we walk through this world in spiritual darkness, groping for things that we cannot see; yet insisting that we know which way is right.

The truth of this statement is obvious. Here are two examples: Humanity has for centuries sought to secure peace in this world with its wars. Has it done so? Humanity has for eons sought to secure peace in its home through asserting authority, oppressing women or simply walking away in divorce as in modern times. Does peace abound in the home?

Yet man insists that he has or can find the answers to his ailments. Humanity is a stubborn old man in the darkness of his own blindness “driving by feel” and insisting that he can see.

Speaking of Jesus restoring sight to a blind man, the Bible says “He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:23-25 ESV)

What compassionate person would fail to point a friend stumbling blindly in darkness toward the light? Friend, that is what I am doing now. Jesus is still restoring sight to the blind.

While humanity insists on “driving by feel” in its relative darkness, Jesus opens blind eyes to see the truth. That’s the heartbeat of the message of Jesus. He opens blind eyes to see things clearly. Most notably, He opens our eyes to our need for grace and the source of that wondrous grace.

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 ESV)