A Blind Guy Who Helped Me See Better

This week I participated in a Columbia pastors’ morning of prayer, where about 15 pastors of Columbia churches met in a room for worship and prayer together. Honestly, these kinds of things (i.e., an entire morning of prayer with other pastors I barely know) are hard for me to get motivated to do, but I’m always (or usually) glad I did afterward. You know how those kinds of things go. Perhaps going to church each Sunday is like that for you.

The guy who led our worship/singing time at the beginning is named Jay Pilkington, and he’s a worship leader at Alive in Christ Lutheran Church in Columbia. I saw him walking into the room upon arrival by holding the arm of his pastor with his left hand and carrying his guitar case with his other hand. Jay is completely blind.

He led our worship time by skillful guitar play and heart-felt singing. I was amazed at how he had memorized all the words to all the songs exactly as the PowerPoint slides had them. I was impressed with how he obviously “felt” the worship he was singing.

But what made a far greater impression on me was his obvious and very apparent belief in the goodness of God and his will for our lives. As he led, he would often praise God in prayer for his “goodness” and for the “sweetness” of his Word. All things you would expect a worship leader to pray. But I couldn’t get past the fact that these were the heart-felt prayers and praises of a blind guy. A blind guy—rejoicing in God’s goodness! Not something I would expect to see.

As I watched him, I saw no self-pity, no discontentment, no insecurity about being different from the others, no sense of inferiority whatsoever. Rather, I saw confidence, rejoicing, an others-centeredness, a sensitive friendliness, a taking the initiative with people, a genuine interest in those he met. All, no doubt, because he saw God in a clearer way than most.

I felt convicted. Well, not convicted so much as moved within my heart as I thought about the things I complain about in my life—ways that I so easily slip into doubting the goodness of God and distrust his will for my life. Though blind, Jay saw reality so much clearer than I. His eyes saw God better, and that helped me want to see God better too.

I can see a little more after my worship with a blind guy named Jay.

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