Who is blind, one who cannot see,
Yet seeks to care for those in need?
Or one who claims to see,
But never looks beyond himself?
Who is deaf, one who cannot hear,
Yet heeds the cries of those in pain?
Or one who claims to hear,
But listens only to himself?
Who is lame, one who cannot walk,
Yet takes the hands of those who’re lost?
Or one who claims to walk,
But never goes outside himself?
How blind are those who will not see
The needs that Jesus sees!
How deaf are those who will not hear
The cries that Jesus hears!
How lame are those who will not take
The hands that Jesus takes!
But how blessed are those
Who love as Jesus loves.
And here’s a secret about how I kept the stanzas straight while memorizing this song. The three conditions–blindness, deafness, and lameness–come in alphabetical order. To keep the lines straight within each stanza, each second line has a word that begins with the same letter as the condition mentioned in the line before: see, seeks; hear, heeds; lame, lost. And the supposedly sighted person fails to look “beyond himself” while the person supposedly able to get around fails to go “outside himself”–another intentional alphabetical choice.
Not accidents, I can assure you. I’m too well aware of the limitations of my memory.
I’m aware of my other limitations, too.
Joyce Richards, my former mother-in-law, suffered for years with what was first diagnosed as ALS: Lou Gehrig’s disease. When her condition quit deteriorating–and she continued to live–the doctors said maybe this was the slow-developing kind.
But they really didn’t know.
Even though they had ruled out other degenerative diseases, they still couldn’t be sure. She ended up having to use a motorized chair and a specially equipped van, but she didn’t act like a handicapped person. At least not during the time she was part of my life.
She was a giving and caring person–and she didn’t hide her faith, not even from her favorite Jewish physician.
I’m not sure what sparked this song, but I’ll always think of it as Joyce Richards’ song. For she was physically lame, yet always taking the hands of those around her in the most giving and unselfish ways.
Yet how many Christians think of themselves as righteous–while failing to see or respond to the needs of others; while failing to hear and answer the cries of others; while failing to reach out and assist those who need their help?
I’m guilty–too often–of failing to “love as Jesus loves.” I may care enough to pray, and that’s important. I may cry over the needs of others, and that’s good.
But how often am I willing to get a little dirt on me through hands-on assistance? Not often enough.
So whenever I sing this song, I’m preaching to myself. But I’m also setting up a goal: to gain the blessing that comes from loving as Jesus loves.
Your comments are always welcome.
You can find a free lead sheet of this song in the drop down box found on the Lead Sheets tab at the top of this page.
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