Monday, March 16, 2015

These Eyes

As I walked to my apartment mailbox this afternoon, I greeted one of my neighbors who is blind. His return greeting?
"Long time, no see!"

I'm not sure if he was making a joke or just using a figure of speech we all have used, but I thought it was funny. The following entry, from April 17, 2006, is about another blind resident of my complex. 

No school today as we conclude a four day Easter weekend. Technically, it's a bad weather day. With possibility of floods and hurricanes in Houston, extra days are built into the yearly schedule just in case. In fact, we used this day during the aftermath of Hurricane Rita but subsequently made it up at Christmas break. So, instead of teaching my Bible classes this morning, I finished Walk The Line, the biographic movie about the life of Johnny Cash. As always, the actors/actresses who play famous people are more attractive than the originals, in this case, Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as his second wife, June Carter Cash. Although neither bears great resemblance to the star they portray, both are effective in pulling off the roles, convincing me subconsciously that they were June and Johnny. The film chronicles Cash from his childhood with an overbearing father and the horrific accidental death of older brother, Jack. A failed marriage, drug dependency, the womanizing of a rock-and roll star; the life of Johnny Cash is not sugar coated. The title comes from one of his early hits, I Walk the Line. The gist of the lyrics is that because of his love for his significant other, he restrains himself from things that tempt him. There has to be a Biblical application in there somewhere!

Most of the residents of my apartment complex are unmarried. Many are widowed while some, like myself, are single. I have a favorite couple. I would guess he is in his mid-fifties while she is maybe forty-five. They, like many of my neighbors, walk constantly around our driveway. What impressed me about this husband and wife is that they always hold hands. No one would accuse me of being sentimental but holding hands strikes me as very romantic. One day, I found out why they cling to each other. Walking past in the opposite direction, I greeted them. I try to make eye contact when I speak but it was impossible in this case. For the first time, I saw that she was blind. Then, I understood. He is her eyes. He guides her, shields her, and loves her. The holding hands is not just romantic but vital for her safety. Johnny Cash penned these words in 1956:

I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
I keep the end out for the tie that binds
Because you're mine,
I walk the line.

I think the Man In Black wrote those words for his first wife, Vivian, but my unnamed hand holding friend could echo those words wholeheartedly. He keeps his eyes wide open to protect the love of his life. Our God feels the same about his children. The Psalmist put it this way in 121:3: "HE will not let your foot slip- HE who watches over you will not slumber." Johnny Cash was not perfect. In fact, until he kicked his drug addiction, he could not keep his eyes open without popping pills. The One whose eyes are on us doesn't need help staying awake to keep His loved ones in His line of vision. I am fixing to go to bed right now...but He's got my back. I'm going to sleep great!

Applicable quote of the day:
"What a blind person needs is not a teacher but another self."
Helen Keller

God bless,
Luke 18:1

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Coach Hinson said...

Thanks for another wonderful blog but more importantly thanks for letting me know about Emily. She is truly a happy spirit in a dark world. She could always make you smile! I will keep her and her great family in my prayers. Keep on keeping on coach!!

Trina said...

MR. STEVE!! Another wonderful application from an unlikely never cease to amaze and encourage me! Thank you for all that you are and all that you mean to so many people. Your example and servant heart truly blow me away. I will keep your friend in my prayers...the power of this connection with God can move mountains!! Have a great rest of the week...I look forward to hearing from you soon! =)

Jon said...

i love bad weather day!!!!!!

Jane B. Gaddy said...

Steve, thanks for signing on to follow my blog, but thanks mostly for the great post. I like how you signed off. Oh to live my days in such a way that I can pillow my head at night after a day of consistent fellowship with an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable God, knowing that "he always has my back." So glad that He is my eyes. He guides me, shields me, loves me. And one day very soon He will see me safely home. God bless!
Jane BG

Toyin O. said...

Wow, what a great post, I love what you said about that couple, especially what the presence of husband meant in her life, that was really beautiful. It is nice when couple hold hands, it is very sweet and romantic. Thank God we serve the one who loves us and does not sleep or slumber when it comes to his children.

Terry said...

I just read an nice article about you in the latest Christian Chronicle. Congratulations on being named "Teacher of the Year." You have a great ministry with your school.