I Once Was Blind
At Hope, we usually encourage people to wait for our annual Baptism service to be baptized, but every once in awhile, there’s a situation that warrants not waiting. Earlier this week, I had the great honor of getting to baptize a man named Lee.
Lee has lived a full life. I’ve only heard a small percentage of Lee’s stories, but it has been enough for me to know that Lee hasn’t lived the “easy life.” Some of that has been due to unfortunate circumstances, and some, Lee admitted, he brought on himself. Either way you look at it, Lee is full of wisdom, stories, and a few “learn from my mistake” experiences.
When talking with Lee about his baptism, I learned that almost two years ago, due to a medical mishap, Lee had become completely blind. As you might assume, this was an unexpected and totally life-altering experience for him. Lee found himself in a situation where he could no longer work the family farm; his entire purpose and existence was being challenged. Those closest to him told me they truly worried what would become of Lee’s life.
With very little to do and not sure where to turn, Lee decided to start listening to the Scriptures. In just over 18 months, Lee has listened to the entire Bible twice and has gone through the New Testament more than six times. It was during his last listening of the Bible that he knew it was time for him to follow Jesus’ command to be baptized.
Last Monday night, while standing before family and friends, Lee shared his story. He teared up and spoke a few simple, yet profound, words. Lee said, “In the last year and a half since I’ve become blind, I’ve been able to see just how much I need Jesus Christ.”
I went to bed that night thinking of the reality that a blind man now sees. It seems so backwards! Yet Lee now sees clearer than he ever has before. Lee is able to point out to others what is right in front of their very eyes, an eternal reality that many seem to be blind to.
After the baptism, we helped Lee out of the pool and sat him in his seat. Immediately, all the kids jumped back into the sacred pool water and others went back to eating dessert. I sat there with Lee and we said a simple prayer that all those in attendance would have true sight and would see their need for Jesus.
I walked away that evening humming a familiar song that now carries new meaning for me…
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me….I was once lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.