"Can the blind lead the blind?
Will they not both fall into a pit?"
Last week was hubby's birthday. So my awesome and amazing kids and I decided to take The Apple of My Eye out for a surprise lunch. We blindfolded him, and I drove to the restaurant, but we made a few comments to throw him off, like, "Should we bring the dog? Nah, she didn't like it there last time," or I might tell him he needs to bring a change of shoes or something. While we're driving, I might say something to one of the kids, like, "Call her and tell her not to start until we get there". None of that means anything, but it keeps him guessing.
As we walked out of the house to get in the car, he was already blindfolded, so I was guiding him. We went through the door from the house to the garage, and I was carefully watching to make sure I didn't bump him into the door jamb. And while I did that, I forgot that he had to go down a step. Whoops! Sorry, dear...
He stumbled a little, but fortunately, he didn't fall or twist his ankle or anything. We were both laughing, but it occurred to me that it's harder than I thought to lead someone who's blind. It's like trying to teach someone how to do something on the computer ~ your fingers know what to do automatically, but your brain has trouble with the detailed descriptions necessary to teach someone else. In this case, it was hard for me to think of everything he needed me to tell him. Once we got out to the garage, and walked toward the passenger side of the car, I was so much more focused on his feet, and not letting him trip over anything, that now I was in danger of letting him bump the side-view mirror as he walked by, or hit his head getting in the car.
Naturally, this verse popped into my head. It's one of those verses that's so common, that probably a lot of people don't realize that it's Scripture. It comes right before Jesus' words about judging the speck in a neighbor's eye, and failing to see the plank in your own eye. "You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
The point to both verses is that we have no business judging someone else ~ or telling someone else what to do ~ when we ourselves are just as sinful and lost. Of course, we can't wait until we're perfect before we love, lead, or guide another. The lesson is simply about knowing our own failings. We need to be in frequent communication with Him, and seeking to learn what needs to be fixed in our own lives. Otherwise, it's like telling someone to add more sugar to their cookies, and not realizing that what we're guiding them towards is salt. We're advising them to make matters worse if we don't know enough about the situation.
The other lesson, I think, is sympathy, or maybe even empathy. I needed to put myself in Hubby's position. I needed to imagine how it would feel if I were going through that doorway, and what I'd be worried about, and what I'd need to know.
We're really not equipped to step out and guide someone else through a tricky situation if we're not prayed up.... if we ourselves are not being led by Him ~ through prayer and through His Word.
If you're responsible for leading someone else, make sure you yourself are being led.
~ "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." ~