“Mommy, cover your eyes. Come here.”
They want me to close my eyes and let them lead me by the hand to show me some masterpiece or mess they are very proud of.
Usually it’s right when I get home from work and the travel distance is from one side of the living room to the other.
Unsurprising moment of transparency: Usually, I only close the eye that is closest to them. That way they think my eyes are closed, but I don’t step on a lego. (Side note, I’m pretty sure Hell is repeatedly and unsuspectedly stepping on legos.)
I’ve tried to explain to these small children that people need to see to walk, but they are pretty sure that’s only true when a surprise is not involved.
I’m a bit of a control freak — scratch that, I’m arrogant. I’m not all that worried about things going wrong around me, I’m worried about people not knowing that I AM RIGHT. The world can spin like crazy out of control around me as long as, in the end, I am left standing, correct.
I’m sorry if you had more respect for me before this moment of clarity about my ugly heart. Trust me, it’s better this way – better that we are real with each other about who we are.
One of my favorite things about my Jesus is that he invites us exactly as we are into His Love and Purpose and Sacrifice. Then, that Love and Purpose and Sacrifice inspire deep and true change in us. Even today, I can see the edges of my arrogance being peeled away to produce surrender.
The way Jesus leads my heart often feels counter-intuitive to me. The direction he leads, the people placed along the way, the moments of stillness so easily missed . . .
Though I have lots of experience at this point in my life trusting, in letting things be out of my control or will, it still feels a bit like being led blind.
I don’t know the outcome of the story. I don’t often know the destination. I think that’s the definition of following. If you knew those things, you wouldn’t need the leader. And, I desperately need the Leader.
What I end up doing most of the time is this: I follow with half my heart surrendered to the leader and the other eye open to make sure I don’t end up stepping into something unfortunate.
To ensure my pain is limited.
When my kids are “leading” me to a surprise, it’s almost always in our home. In a familiar place. I have walked the paces from the couch to the table a hundred times. If I wasn’t so afraid of what I may step on, I really could close my eyes and be aware of where I am with quite a bit of confidence.
A God concerned with the redemption of all Creation will lead me in both familiar and unfamiliar spaces as I surrender to Him.
I wonder how my trust in Him would grow if I would just close my other eye and trust the senses He has given me to help me navigate even just the familiar places to start out. He does not leave me blind. My God is the God of new sight, new perspective, because he is the God of New Things.
He never lets go of my hand. He is my life-line to Security and Purpose.
After all, the Creator-Redeemer is not a pre-school child with a limited perspective. He is leading with all of history and present and future in his sight.
Sometimes, following Jesus demands a simple moment in which we sit in the quiet, with our eyes closed — removing the distractions of the busy and unpredictable world around us — believing that The Redeemer is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
He goes before me. He goes behind me. He is above me and below me.
Christ, be all around me as I trust in you.