This week at the suggestion of several church leaders, I joined the Barnesville Kiwanis club. I’ve attended as a guest before, have met several members and several others belong to our congregation. At this week’s meeting I met Donald Lynn. Many people in Barnesville know Donald and most everyone has seen him around town with Bobby his guide dog. Donald has impaired vision but he gets around pretty well and does most things that you and I do. At the Kiwanis meeting on Monday, Donald was telling us about a recent experience that had bothered him. It seems that a Chinese restaurant near Wal-Mart in Cambridge (Ohio) had refused him service and asked him to leave because of his guide dog. Besides that fact that this is probably illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other legislation, most of us at the meeting found this action to be offensive.
In the Gospel of John (Chapter 9) Jesus heals a man who was blind since birth and the leaders of the synagogue cannot believe that the healing really happened. They deny that this man, who can clearly see, is the same man that they had seen for years begging at the gates to the Temple. When the man’s own parents testify that this is the same man, the leaders then deny that it was Jesus who did the healing. In John’s story we are told that the church leaders are the ones who are truly blind. It seems strange that in two thousand years we are still hearing the same story. For all of our modernity and sophistication it seems that not much has changed.
Donald Lynn may be a man with impaired vision, but it is pretty obvious that someone else suffers from a far worse sort of blindness.