and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD;
the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
We visited John Piper's church in Minneapolis on Saturday evening. It was a fun double date with a couple from small group...a chance to get out and to hear a great preacher teach. I sat next to two blind men who came into the service late and were searching - vainly - for a place to sit. The sermon was on John 3:31-36. It was an oddly transcendent experience. Hanging out on the edge of consciousness, like I sometimes do, heightens all your senses, as you are in that peculiar "fight or flight" mode in which you are constantly assessing your pot odds, constantly evaluating the situation to determine what will be least painful, humiliating, or distressing for those around you. I was on the verge of passing out during the sermon, when my heart rate plummeted for no good reason whatsoever. In some ways, it was a spiritual experience because I was hanging on by my fingernails to the edge of the conscious world. The other thing that lent this sermon special light was the fact that the power of the words of the Bible were paired with the emphatic muttering of the blind man next to me: "amen!", "that's right, brother."
This man was born without eyes to see with. He is anxiously looking forward to seeing the kingdom of heaven, I'm sure. I felt a sense of kinship with him. I was pretty sure we could sit in a room somewhere and talk about lots of things before we got to the subject of disabilities or disease. That was the last thing on his mind as he sat through that service. He wasn't thinking about what he can't do...he was focused completely - so much so that he leaned forward with anticipation and excitement - on the ancient words of the Bible.
It was a good example, in a week that has been a dark one. I needed to be reminded of correct perspective, as usual. (Everything quickly becomes relative inside of oneself.) I needed to be reminded of eternity, that destination I'm on my way to that overcomes all cares and trials of this short lifetime here on this turf.
Tomorrow I head to the electrophysiologist. The one who will determine my medical future, how far we will go to determine the cause of my fainting and what means we will use to treat it. I trust this man, as Aaron knows him well and trusts me to his skilled hands. However, I still feel a bit of dread. I am jumping back into a lake of suffering I climbed out of many years ago. I will never like cardiologists. Too many bad memories. I am hopeful this is a brief interruption. I am looking forward to so much about this summer. Little things, like Katy's t-ball season and first year at Vacation Bible School, Rosy learning to read, and Amy becoming so much more verbal. Caleb learning to walk, really walk. I hope not much is derailed by this fainting business.