One who can't see with his eyes can certainly help those of us who have eyesight see more clearly. In her artical "Light without sight" (Christian Century, April 2, 2014) Barbara Brown Taylor introduced us to a French resistance fighter who was imprisoned by the Nazis. Jacques Lusseyran, in his book, And there Was Light shared how he could see light when he went blind. According to Dr. Taylor, "one of his greatest discoveries was how the light he saw changed with his inner condition. When he was sad or afraid the light decreased at once. Sometimes it went out altogether, leaving him deeply and truly blind."
When it gets really dark in our lives, it is hard to see where we are going. Fear of loss narrows our world and swallows light. When we fill in the unknown future with anxiety that tomorrow will not work out well, we become afraid. It is hard to make decisions about moving forward because we have trouble figuring out what the consequences of decisions might be. If we are too anxious that they will be bad, we will narrow our world, moving forward tentatively and haltingly.
But Barbara Brown Taylor then said, "When he (Jacques) was joyful and attentive it [the light] returned as strong as ever. He learned very quickly that the best way to see the inner light and remain in its presence was to love." The Bible puts it this way, "Perfect love casts out fear." Love of life, love of others, paying attention to the joys and pains of others, reduces our fear. Paying attention to our own strength, our own courage, our own resiliency, can give us the energy to step forward into the unknown without as much fear to hold us back and drain our strength.
Why does love help reduce fear. Because love is the connecting spirit that helps us know that we are not alone. Love is what binds us to each other so that when our hearts weaken, we know that others are there to share our journey with us. Love is that which overcomes our isolation and enables us to live in the strength of shared time and space.
So take it from one who can't see with his eyes. Love your way into the light. It is better than shrinking in fear.