Blind With Our Eyes Wide Open – Kenny Rader

If you were struck blind

What would happen if you were in an automobile accident that resulted in the loss of your sight – today? What about something blowing up in your face, causing instant blindness? Maybe boiling hot steam releasing into your face? Perhaps a mishap with a cleaning agent or acid takes your eyesight.

What was the last thing you saw? Can you remember? How well can you remember the details of your loved one’s face? The color of their eyes. The dimple on their face. What was the color of their shirt or sweater the last time you saw them? Is their hair graying? Is their hair colored? Can you remember the exact shade?

Do you know the colors of the rooms of your house, or, if you have wallpaper, do you remember the pattern and varying shades of tint? Do you know the color of the candle on the shelf in your bathroom or the color and design of tile on the floor? What is the color of the ceiling fan?

Let’s go outside your house. What are the colors of the trees in your front yard today? Can you describe them in detail right now without looking? How tall is the grass in your lawn? What are the colors, sizes, and shapes of the flowers in the flower bed? Are they annuals that recently subdued to the frost or are they mums that the frost energized?

Do we notice?

Some of us pay attention and remember the smallest of details. Some of us are oblivious and only take note of the principal or essential parts of life. Are you the kind of person that keeps the main thing the main thing, or do small details matter in our environment?

Youth

I grew up on my parents’ 25-acre plot of ground. It was a small farm, but it was a paradise for a young boy. We had a creek running through the back of the property, and a small woods of maybe five to seven acres. I spent hours upon hours in the woods and exploring the creek. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter; no season escaped me. I loved them all. And to add more territory to boyhood adventures, we had two neighbors that gave us permission to explore their woods and creek, so my area to roam and discover more than doubled.

I noticed everything. I made mold castings of raccoon footprints, along with castings of other animals that visited the soft banks of the creek. My adventures included cutting paths through the thick areas of the woods and climbing various trees. I knew the location of animal dens, squirrel nests, and hollow trees.

I observed every detail of various aspects of each season: the spring beauty of a reviving earth; the butterflies and other insects of a hot summer day. I loved the colors of the late season wildflowers that thrived in a prairie-like area that often flooded near the creek. I watched as the tree leaves began losing their deep greens and slowly turned into an array of bright reds, yellows, and oranges in autumn. Plus I often walked through a silent woods in falling snow, or closely observed fish under four inches of crystal clear ice in the winter. I lived my boyhood dream. It was all so beautiful.

Busyness

But then, as all of us, I grew up. I graduated from school and got a job. I became a man and forgot the creek and woods. I never lost the love, but I forgot to notice. I asked a cute redhead for her hand in marriage, and while I still loved wildlife and the wilderness area of Dad and Mom’s farm, I didn’t take time anymore.

I married and began farming with her parents. I worked in the factory and farmed the rest of the time. It was a tiring life, but the point was to get into full-time farming. Life became tiring in those busy farming seasons of harvest. One fall, while still employed in the factory and busy with the harvest, I noticed all the leaves on the ground. Nothing remained on the trees. When did that happen? It was a most shocking experience. The factory work and farming, not to mention trying to be a husband and father, had taken all my attention away from my childhood love – the outdoor wilderness. I had missed one of the most beautiful times of the year.

Experiencing beauty once again

I eventually quit the factory job to farm full-time, and once again took notice and experienced all four seasons of the year. That was one of the best aspects of farming: appreciating spring, summer, autumn, and winter once again, although differently from when a boy. The adventurousness was gone, but the appreciation for each season returned.

What are we missing?

How much of the beauty do we not see? Maybe because of busyness, but possibly because we don’t think about these things of splendor God has given us? Do you remember the following song? Years ago, we sang it in church every year at Thanksgiving.

For the Beauty of the Earth
– Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1864)

1 For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.

Refrain:
Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
this, our hymn of grateful praise.

2 For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flower,
sun and moon and stars of light,

[Refrain ]

3 For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild,

[Refrain]

4 For yourself, best gift divine,
to the world so freely given,
agent of God’s grand design:
peace on earth and joy in heaven.

[Refrain]

Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
this, our hymn of grateful praise.

God’s beautiful creation

The Bible tells us.

Genesis 1:1 (NIV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

But after every day’s creation, what does the Bible tell us about God’s work?

Genesis 1:10b (NIV)
10b And God saw that it was good.

The earth was a place of beauty. God called the garden where He placed Adam and Eve, The Garden of Eden. It was a paradise. Can you imagine what it might have looked like?

Let’s not miss the beauty of the earth. God’s beautiful creation surrounds us. Let’s take notice. Let’s pay attention as the colors of summer turn into the colors of autumn and then to winter.

There is glory and magnificence in every season, but so many times we forget to look. God is in that beauty.

The season of thankfulness

This is the season to remember all that God has done for us. It’s the season of Thanksgiving, but let’s not wait until the national holiday to thank God for who He is, all He has done, and is still doing. Let’s not blind ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us in so many ways. That beauty comes in more than merely the colors of fall. Much beauty comes from the kindness and goodness of others and the blessings of life.

Let’s not be blind with our eyes wide open. Let’s look and see the splendor. Let’s observe and appreciate all our blessings this season of the year.

Love you & God Bless,
Kenny

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