Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Blind Sage


In the account of Paul, while on a famous journey to Damascus, he had a mystical experience. As so many mystical experiences do, this one produced light- and energy-phenomena. In fact, the text said that a bright light glowed all around him. This energy apparently affected his physical eyes, and produced blindness.

This blindness was actually a great spiritual gift. For Paul was, in his life as Saul, a rather famous student of a famous teacher named Gamaliel. Pride was one of his greatest natural weaknesses. Nothing increases humility like helplessness, and so, God gave him the gift of helplessness, so that he might also cultivate the spiritual jewel of humility.

Later, this blindness apparently served its purpose, and, at the hands of another Christian, "scales" fell from Paul's eyes, and he could see again. But most scholars believe that he never saw "perfectly" again. His vision was forever after poor; in one epistle, he comments on what large writing he creates, so that he can read it. This poor vision was likely the "thorn in his side" about which he prayed so fervently to God for its removal. But God did not cure him; he simply told him, "In thy weaknesss shall My strength be made complete."

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