Once I told the Lord that He couldn’t understand what I felt because in all His suffering He never lost His eyesight. He had healed the blind, but He wasn’t healing me. If He could be blind for just one week, He might feel some of the disappointment, lost dreams, and daily struggles of living blind in a sighted world. At least if He wasn’t going to heal me, He would know some of my grief, some of my fears, some of my confusion.
Not until my first year at Dallas Seminary, when I started to read Braille, did something happen to make me realize He fully understood my plight. While practicing reading Braille, I consistently encountered the slow, arduous task of completing even a simple sentence. One sentence might take up to several minutes of concentrated effort so that reading long passages often proved exhausting.
I was trying to read the story of Lazarus’s death, yet something seemed amiss. A few words felt wrong, but for the life of me, I couldn’t determine them by way of my fingertips. What did they say? I got to the point where I thought they must be misprinted and was sure they were unreadable. Finally in total frustration with my inability to comprehend the dots, I shed tears, thinking I’d never learn this language and thus never finish seminary.
Those tears dropped to the page and soaked my hand, making me cry all the more. I grabbed some tissues, and I wiped off the page, yet I still wanted to figure out those words. I found my Bible on tape and located the passage. To my surprise I discovered the words in Braille were correct after all. I should have known them well, but I couldn’t read them. They were two simple words: “Jesus wept.”
Jesus, though He knew He would raise their brother, fully entered into Mary and Martha’s loss. As a result, He wept with them.
In that moment I knew He understood my blindness and that He also wept with me.
Michael Justice (MA[BS], 1988; ThM, 1992) is associate pastor at Rowlett Bible Fellowship in Rowlett, Texas. His wife, Terri, is manager of the DTS Copy Center.