Bozo was blind. Our Peekapoo lost sight in one eye as a result of a close encounter with a car and the other eye a year or two later in an altercation with another. We continued to let Bozo out for the obvious reasons and he always returned to our door as he did before the blindness. I do not remember him ever bumping into things. He seemed to sniff his way along with apparent perfection. He needed no white red tipped cane. He did what he needed to do following his nose. We did have to hunt him down on one snowy day and I found him stuck in a small drift at the long end of the block beyond his normal range. The snow covered all his invisible marks on ridged tree trunks, rain gutter spouts, and red fire hydrants. He was way off course!
I too find myself needing invisible markers to keep from getting mired down by the obstacles that interfere with my being contented with myself. I need markers to help me confront the lies that come disguised as right and fluffy white but do not represent reality. These markers are in the Bible and are a fountain of truth about how God treasures me and is ruthless in his pursuit to counter all my weaknesses with his love and cover my faults with charity (see Brennen Manning’s, Ruthless Trust, HarperCollins, © 2000 for a wonderful elaboration). Jesus is packed for the long and hard journey and leads an ardent search until he finds me — no matter how far into thickets, deep pits, and gullies where I have traveled off course (Luke 15:4; Psalm 23:4,6; John 10:11).
I used to be dependent on underlinings and notes on narrow margins of thin pages of india paper with fraying edges; but now it is not required that the long traveled paths are forged by fingers under good light and reading glasses slid onto the end of my nose, but I run over the invisible paths by remembering where the markers are. This has been out of common need and repetitive experience with weaknesses rather than spiritual finesse. These markers remind me that I can be as kind to myself as God is. I can be as forgiving of my faults as God is. I can be as accepting of me in spite of my weaknesses as God is. I can give myself the needed break that God does.
My faltering steps and stammering tongue does not hamper or hinder God’s extravagant love (Exodus 4:10; Isaiah 32:4). He continues to stretch out his open arms and reaches beyond any reasonable human effort (Hosea 11:9; 1 Corinthians 2:5). God chooses to be forgetfully blind in His forgiving and lovingly kind in His rescue because I am his child (Jeremiah 31:34). He raises me up and covers my head with a crown instead of crushing me (Psalm 103:3-5). His extreme measure was to endure the crushing punishment for my reckless meanderings (Isaiah 53:5).
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust” (Psalm 103:11-14).
© Stephen Williams