I had a flashback to an old memory. Actually, it was less of a flashback and more of a memory of my mother telling me about it.
When I was 4 or so, I had the notion to pour Comet Cleanser on my head. It seemed like a fine idea at the time to my 4-year old mind. That is, until it got into my eyes.
I don’t remember any of this, but apparently I burned or damaged my retinas pretty severely. I had to stay in a dark room away from bright lights and have drops in my eyes every four hours. According to the story, there was some doubt as to whether my retinas would grow back.
I don’t know what triggered that memory. I do know that I’ve had experiences that have caused me to look at myself and others through new eyes.
Like tonight. The teacher at Kairos spoke about the tale of the Good Samaritan. Only he said that Jesus taught the parable to show us not that we’re the Samaritan who helps others, but the badly beaten, naked man lying in a ditch on the side of the road, desperate for help.
Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “Hey, I’m a nice person. I try to help others and do the right thing most of the time.”
But if you’re honest you look at your life and you see deception and manipulation. You see those times when you failed and didn’t do the right thing. You know that if people could read your mind and see some of the thoughts you have in the dark of night, they wouldn’t think you were so nice.
The fact is that we’re all in need of rescue. We’re not as noble or kind or brave as we thought we were. We’re not nearly as able to help ourselves.
But Jesus is so much stronger than we ever knew. He’s so much more than able to reach down and rescue us from the messes we fall into. He’s able to change us into loving people who don’t do kind things as much as they exude kindness. It’s his love inside us by which we love others who aren’t lovable.
I know even after more than three decades of being a Christian, I need Jesus every bit as much now as I did when I first believed. The only thing that’s changed is that I see so much more clearly how good and great he is, how much he loves me, and how committed he is to me.
I haven’t had any more eye emergencies since. Hopefully, I’m smart enough now not to pour household cleaners on my head. Lesson learned.