In a way, suffering always causes blindness. It turns our gazes & journeys inward. In our pain, it is a challenge to really see outside ourselves & beyond the limited perspectives of our isolated experiences. When the storms come, most of us hunker down & attempt to wrap our minds around what is happening. We seek answers that are rarely forthcoming, explanations that are non-existent, solutions that are slow in manifesting. Although it is rarely useful, we often cast blame, often find a target within ourselves, often contribute to our own anguish.
As we wrestle with such thoughts, we must often wrestle alone. As the famed poem Footprints captures however, even when we can’t see our Lord walking beside us & His footprints seem strangely absent, it is in these times He scoops us up in His arms & carries us. His healing & growth oft come in unexpected forms, often through the very experiences we disliked, often as a surprise discovered through the advanced perspective of time. In his novel Jayber Crow, author Wendell Berry says it best: “I am always surprised, when I look back on times I have known to be laborious or worrisome or sad, to discover that, they were never out of the presence of peace & beauty, for here I have been always in the world itself.” The world bestows gifts that can restore damaged vision, & even strengthen it beyond what it was before. In a way, suffering always awakens sight.