Monday, April 14, 2008


Some time ago, I posted about my nearsightedness problem, both visual and visionary. Today, I will expand on that with a second edition of vision issues.

Farsightedness is the opposite condition of nearsightedness. It it the inability, or reduced ability, to see what is nearer and have clear focus at a distance. This is often remedied with "reading glasses" to be worn only for up close activities.

I think the church often suffers from farsightedness. We focus our sights on eternity to come and cannot see the existence that is. That explains why we do not take better care of our selves, our neighbors or our world. For, you see, it will all be better in the sweet by and by.

We abuse our bodies with practices like overeating, poor food choices, overexposure to UV and lack of exercise. We will have a new body at the resurrection, so we run this one into the ground--literally.

We will cross oceans, mountain ranges and deserts to bring Africans, Asians or others to Jesus. Yet, we won't cross the street to bring our neighbors who are of African, Asian or other descent to our church.

We will donate our used-up things to the needy but rarely donate ourselves in actual time and contact with the needy. By acting so impersonally, we further diminish the persons we seek to serve.

We claim "dominion" over the earth as a license to remove the mountaintops, pollute the drinking water and fill the ground with disposable everything to satisfy our desire for convenience and profit. We forget that humanity's dominion was a charge to tend (manage like a steward) the earth.

Like a farsightedness condition in the eye, such church farsightedness can be corrected. The usual prescription is "reading glasses."

We need to re-read the Word and the world around us. We need to return to God asking him to teach us what is blessed and stop asking him to bless what we have already determined to do. We need to stop offering advice and answers and resources until we first discover what the problems, questions and challenges are. We need to reconnect with our neighborhoods, our homes and our world.

Think of the humility and wisdom of Jesus to ask an obviously blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" May his life refocus the living of his body, the church.

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