And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and his sight was restored. – Acts 9:18 (NRSV)
If only it were that easy. Or that final. If only it was a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. A one-time need for the scales to fall from our eyes.
The book of Acts makes it sound so simple. Saul, the persecutor of Christians, is struck blind after his encounter with the living Christ. The Lord tells a disciple named Ananias to go heal Saul. He refuses, as he knows the evil things Saul has done. But then he screws up his courage and goes. He lays hands on the blind man, prays that he be filled with the Holy Spirit, and “immediately something like scales fell” from Saul’s eyes. The blind man sees, the persecutor becomes an Apostle.
But the story didn’t end there, and neither did Paul’s need for healing and new sight—thank God. Keep reading Acts and Paul’s letters, and you see over and again how Paul’s vision kept getting clouded. Those scales of fear, anger, and frustration have a sneaky way of growing back. No wonder, decades later, Paul wrote to the Corinthians that “now we see in a mirror dimly.”
His hope, of course—and ours—was that then we shall see “face to face.” In the meantime, we can take heart that even after his conversion, this stellar first Christian continually needed God’s amazing grace, the grace that opens us and lifts the scales from our eyes, every day.
You alone know, O Lord, the things that keep us from seeing you and seeing others fully. Amaze us with your grace and open us to you and this world that you love. Amen.