by PASTOR RON AULBACH
BridgeWay Community Church
Vision is something we take for granted. I’m reminded when I go to the eye doctor and they put those drops in that make things all fuzzy for a couple hours. I think they are secretly testing me for when I’m older.
Another time, I was trimming some tree branches with a chainsaw and one snapped back and whacked me in the face. It hit me so hard I saw stars, like a cartoon character. But the vision returned and I was left only with a bloody lip and a bruised ego for being so careless.
A moment I’ll never forget was when I was 10 years old and the bat boy for an amateur baseball team. I was setting up the bats, helmets, getting the pine tar rags all folded and ready for the game. The pitcher was warming up too and, like a scud missile, his fastball sailed over the catcher’s mitt and as someone yelled, “Look out!” I turned right into it. Strike, directly into my left eye. It hit me so hard that I spun headfirst into a post with a big eye bolt sticking out of it. Care to guess where the eye bolt hit me? Yup, right eye. Disoriented, I tried to get up and run, only to trip over all the equipment I’d just set up. Ok, stop laughing.
I was miserable. They called my parents as the ambulance rushed me to the hospital. Raw steak face, both eyes swollen shut and my mom didn’t even recognize me. But after a month of looking like a Ricky the Raccoon, my eyes opened, and eyesight was completely restored. The doctor said I was lucky, almost blind at age 10.
Like I said, vision is something we take for granted. What a gift to have sight, and what a tragedy to have it and not look for the God that gives it. My eyes met those of my wonderful wife, Shawn, over 20 years ago. I’ve seen the miracle of life and watched five perfectly healthy children open their eyes to this world. I’ve seen God transform a crowd into a church, and open individuals’ eyes to the grace of Jesus. I’m watching eagerly as God gives our church the vision of transforming an old paper mill on Childsdale into our new church home, to rebuild life on the river. What a sight!
As you go through your day, what do you see? What has always been there, but you’ve been too busy to notice? Is there a person that God has placed right next to you, that you are all-of-a-sudden incredibly thankful for? “Teach me God what I cannot see,” (Job 34:32) and ask God to open your eyes and renew your vision.