LIFT HIM UP
I received a special phone call today from John as I was working at my desk at Christian Record Services for the Blind. I met John at one of the National Camps for the Blind in late July. Since that time, he has called me periodically with a quick greeting, a Bible verse, and a blessing.
During today’s call he shared Psalm 146:8:
The Lord gives sight to the blind,
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
The Lord loves the righteous.
“Thank you, John!” I said. “I’ll write it down. Thank you for calling and for sharing this with me.”
“You’re welcome,” John said. “You know, I call and share these verses with you because God had raised up Christian Record for people who are bowed down to help them see Jesus.” I was humbled by John’s comments. After finishing the call, I sat back for a moment, deep in thought. John reminded me of something very important. Here it is, in the words of Jesus, as written in Matthew 28:19: “ . . . Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .”
What does that mean for you? When you see a person who lives with a disability, be it blindness or another handicap, do you say “Hello”?"
The word that leaps out at me in this verse is “all.” We are called by Jesus to make disciples of all nations, all peoples. That includes people who live with blindness. What does that mean for me? I take this commission from Jesus wherever I go, whether it be to the grocery store, the city park, my local church—wherever in the world Jesus sends me. It means making and building friendships that grow into opportunities for discipleship. And sometimes I’m the one who needs to be discipled! What does that mean for you? When you see a person who lives with a disability, be it blindness or another handicap, do you say “Hello”? Truly, many great friendships have started by greeting the person and treating him or her with respect. Christian Record Services for the Blind (CRSB) is the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official ministry for people who are blind or visually impaired. CRSB stands by your side, ready to support your new friend with free services and programs in braille, audio, and large print. A free Bible from Christian Record would enable your friend to study the Bible with you. The Student, the braille version of the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, helps your friend study and be able to participate during Sabbath School discussion time. These items and many more are available because of faithful stewards to Christian Record’s ministry to help the blind “see” Jesus.
Thinking back to John and his encouraging phone calls, I encourage you with this: One day, Jesus will return in the clouds. “Every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1:7). Every eye! Even the eyes of those who have lived with blindness. Imagine that day—the first thing our friends who are blind will see is the face of Jesus. What a wonderful day that will be. We are a royal priesthood, as described in 1 Peter 2:9, and it is because of God’s abundant and amazing grace that we are called the children of God. Because of our higher calling, we are to look with kind regard upon those who are blind or visually impaired. If we are truly serious about going into all the world, we cannot be among those who marginalize, discriminate, ignore, abuse, or belittle anyone. We do not know when an action or a word will influence an individual’s decision for or against Jesus. I want to be counted among those who were compassionate in thought and in deed, as well as generous in giving my time, talents and resources to enable God to work in the lives of all He grants me the opportunity to meet.
People like John love Jesus, and yet there are many more who either don’t know Him or need to become reacquainted. This can happen through you. What can you do today to lift up those who are “bowed down”?