Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Blind Man On a Busy Street

A couple of days ago, I saw a blind man cross Villa Maria at a stoplight.  If you don't live in my neck of the woods, it is one of the busier streets, and my least favorite to drive on, much less walk across with my 20/20 (very corrected) vision.  I could not believe my eyes.  Actually, I thought it was impossible that he should be at a busy intersection. alone. in the darkness. with nothing but a stick.  So, I watched him very carefully, looking for any sign that he could see even a little bit. 

The traffic stopped at the red light.  He proceeded across, waving his stick up and down so as to be seen.  When he got to the other side, he stopped abruptly (like you do in the dark when you bump into something), put his stick down and zigzagged it across the ramp into the parking lot.  He successfully navigated around the young man on the corner spinning his big "We buy gold!" arrow, and he disappeared from my view.

I still can't get over it.  All I could figure out was that he must live nearby, and have every step counted between his house and the grocery store.  And how do you shop at the grocery store, by yourself, when you can't see?!  Now, that I think about it, he wasn't carrying any bags.  So, I wonder what he was after?  Could he have just been going for a walk?!  Could that possibly be relaxing?!  Could the benefits from the exercise outweigh the risk from the stress?  Goodness!

Seeing him made me wonder if there is a blind person on the face of the earth who doesn't believe in God.  They have to trust to survive.  Every step is a step of faith; it is not optional. 

I am dying to run into this man again sometime.  Maybe I should set up camp at that intersection and wait for him.  A little stalker-esque, but I am pretty sure I would never be the same if I could hear his story.

I wanted to write to you about him when I got home that day, but I was pretty sure "I saw a blind man cross a busy street." post would have been lost on you, and I didn't know what else to say.  Until now.

This morning's meditation in God Calling connected the dots for me.

I AM with you to guide you and help you.  Unseen forces are controlling your destiny.  Your petty fears are groundless.

What of a man walking through a glorious glade who fretted because ahead there lay a river and he might not be able to cross it, when all the time, that river was spanned by a bridge?  And what if that man had a friend who knew the way -had planned it- and assured him that at no part of the journey would any unforeseen contingency arise, and that all was well?

So leave your foolish fears, and follow Me, your Guide, and determinedly refuse to consider the problems of tomorrow.  My message to you is trust, and wait.     ~Jesus

Ok, we know God is good, but isn't He GOOD?!  I am ecstatic that this reflection is the perfect follow-up for yesterday's post about self-imposed suffering, and that it reminded me of another illustration about God as our guide - the One who knows the way because He planned it!

When God makes Himself the guide of a soul, He exacts from it an absolute confidence in Him, and a freedom from any sort of disquietude as to the way in which He conducts it.  This soul, is urged on without perceiving the path traced out before it...When you are conducted by a guide who takes you through an unknown country at night across fields where there are no tracks, by his own skill, without asking advice from anyone, or giving you an inkling of his plans; how can you choose but to abandon yourself?  Of what use is it looking about to find out where you are, to ask the passers-by, or to consult maps and travelers?  The plans or fancies of a guide who insists on being trusted would not allow this.  He would take pleasure in overcoming the anxiety and distrust of the soul, and would insist on an entire surrender to his guidance.

Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

At the risk of making this post entirely too long, I want to end with some Phineas and Ferb lyrics that stuck this morning when I was helping my youngest pick up the pile of toys in his room. 

Not Knowing Where You're Going

It's so much fun not knowin'
where you're goin'
Take a left or a right and just go in
without really knowin'...
There's no surprise in life, if you know
where you're goin'

So walk around like a monkey with a blindfold on...

Sometimes I think it's fun not to know where I'm going, and sometimes I don't.  In fact, last year I went with some girlfriends on a "Mystery Bus" tour.  Not knowing where you were going was the whole point, and it was a blast! 

Anyway, none of us know where we're going.  For eternity?  Yes.  But, daily, weekly, or monthly?  Not so much.  Whether you like it or not, we're on an adventure full or surprises, and we have been assigned a Most Excellent Guide. 

Dear Heavenly Father and Earthly Guide, You are so AWESOME!  Thank you for the blind man and the example he gives that he knows nothing about.  Thank you for being our guide.  You know our trust issues.  Maybe because we can see, we try to see too much.  Help us to take each step, in faith.  There are such things as groundless and foolish fears.  Thank you for convicting us of that, again.  Sorry to be so slow in getting it.  Please give us the grace to see life as an adventure, and the courage to sing with Phineas and Ferb, "It's so much fun not knowin' where you're goin'!"  I love you!  You never cease to surprise, encourage, and love me.  Thank you.  Amen.

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