Blind Willie


Reposted from Radical Mentoring

For almost 20 years, my wife and I have had a little fish pond beside our home. I feed the fish every morning. I throw the pellets in the same area every time, and all the fish hurry there and start chomping on fish food . . . except for one. This little guy is orange, black and butt ugly. His eyes are white and bulging. While the others eat, he floats, swims around in circles, and seems to have no interest in food. He appears to sense that all his colleagues have vanished but he doesn’t know why or which way they went. Eventually, he wanders to the opposite end of the pond where the other fish are. But by the time he gets there, the food I’ve thrown in is gone . . . gobbled up by all the big healthy fish. Eventually we figured out that he was totally blind. So, I named him Blind Willie. The other fish start swimming to the feeding spot as soon as they see me coming. But since Willie can’t see, he’s left swimming around in darkness. One day I started to wonder, “I know Willie can’t see but maybe he can hear,” so I started shaking the food cup as I approach the pond, signaling to Willie it’s time to eat. Now he’s still always late to the party, but he gets there. And I make sure to throw in enough food to make sure Blind Willie gets some.

I don’t think fish do much thinking. But I sure do. And I can’t help but think about the way God loves us. Sure, He feeds the ‘superstars’ . . . the ones who ‘get it’ and got it long time ago. But He also keeps an eye out for guys like Blind Willie . . . guys who don’t have ‘eyes to see.’ He goes the extra mile, figuring out other ways to bring even his most blind children to His food. And He keeps a little extra love for those who get there late.

I was Blind Willie for a long time. In those years when I was far from God, when I was stumbling along in spiritual blindness, God kept making sure I got a little food. He put Charlie Childers in my path. In the midst of dying from one of the most painful types of cancer, Charlie looked up at me and said, “Regi, don’t you worry about me. I know where I’m going. I’m worried about you.” Another time, God sent a guy into my living room who asked me, “Mr. Campbell, if you died tonight, where would you spend eternity?” It made me real angry but a few moments later, that little voice in my head asked, “Regi, if you’re so sure, why are you so upset?” Then there was my friend’s wife, looking me square in the eye saying, “Regi, God’s not going to give up on you!” All these encounters were fish food for Blind Regi . . . dished out from the hand of God. He rattled the cup, trying to get my attention so He could feed me the Bread of Life.

Is there someone in your sphere of influence who is spiritually blind? Perhaps God wants to use you to throw that person a little ‘fish food’ . . . a little love, some compassion, a challenge, or maybe a vision of the man God designed him to be. Maybe you’ve got a son or daughter who’s floating or swimming around in circles, or has no interest in spiritual food. Rest in the fact that your Heavenly Father is rattling the cup, throwing little pellets of spiritual food in their direction, and waiting patiently for them to realize He’s there and He loves them.

Scripture: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

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