I heard a story sometime ago; it keeps popping up in my mind. I think there's a lesson to learn…
Once there was a man sitting on the sidewalk in a city with hundreds of people passing by. He was hunched over holding a sign that read “Help me, I'm blind"; the crowds passed by and occasionally someone would drop a coin in his cup. Suddenly a business man stopped and stood at his feet. The blind man touched his shoes. They were shiny and had the aroma of expensive leather; a wealthy man indeed. The gentlemen asked the question, "May I see your sign for a minute?” The blind man handed him the sign and a few minutes later gave it back and headed on his way. Again the blind man sat holding his sign as the people passed by. It wasn't long until his cup began to fill. Nearly everyone who walked by dropped money in it. Soon his cup was overflowing and he was scrambling to gather all the coins.
Later in the afternoon the businessman returned on his way home. Again he stopped. The blind man recognized him from the touch and aroma of his shoes. This time he asked the question "What Sir, did you do when I handed you my sign this morning?" The man replied "I crossed out your words and wrote; It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and I can't see!"
WOW! It seems that this made all the difference. Peoples hearts changed, their attitudes changed and their perspective changed when they could envision the blind man’s struggle. Instantly the warm sunshine and blue sky became a treasured gift. Suddenly their new perspective of the blind man led them to compassion.
I often emphasize the need for empathy and compassion in our ministry as we help others find freedom. Embracing them and hearing their stories allows us to enter into their world. Judgment and condemnation disappear. The faces of those who have had abortion are not cruel, hateful people who want to destroy life. Sadly they are often labeled in this way. They are broken wives, mothers, daughters, lawyers, teachers, young, old, divorced, widowed, single, married, black, white, Hispanic, Chinese, and on and on. They are women who feel they must hide behind their secret because it's unforgivable. They wear many masks. Perfection and addiction cover their shame and guilt. I believe God sees them differently. He loves them and desires to see their lives restored. That is how we too should see them.
God wants us to see clearly what His will is for us. When we "see it" we can achieve it. It sets us in the right direction. Clear vision changes us. Let's see with new eyes. Let's love first as Jesus would. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, the healing vessels to restore what's been lost.
Count it all Joy!
Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18