Have you ever thought about how a blind person sees an elephant? In one of the books I'm reading the author asked that question. I thought about how I've seen blind people look at a person's face or at an object. I've seen them use their fingers to see. Starting at a person's forehead with their fingers, slowly moving down their face. Fingers moving over a sculpture from top to bottom to see it. But how would a blind person see an elephant?
We have two enormous things happening in our world, not just in our country, just in our community or just in our home, but in our entire world.
One, the COVID-19 pandemic.
9.94 million people have suffered COVID-19 worldwide so far.
497, 000 people have died worldwide so far.
Black men, women and children are dying due to racism worldwide. Having several of their deaths happen in front of our eyes through the media ripped open the wound of racism worldwide.
How do I wrap my mind around these two things?
After almost four months of living with COVID-19 many people are not Social Distancing and are not wearing a face covering anymore. Some are evening protesting that the COVID-19 safety protocols violate their rights. And many think because they feel fine they do not have the virus, but they do and are spreading it without realizing. How does a blind person see an elephant?
It's been almost a month since George Floyd was killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck. Protests happened worldwide, some with tensions running so high violence broke out. Protests continue to happen worldwide. In the United States many learned for the first time in their lives what Juneteenth is. Black parents are sharing about "the talk" they have regularly with their children in hopes they come home safely each time they leave home. How does a blind person see an elephant?
In this weekend's Gospel reading Jesus says, "Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)
In the book I was reading the blind person is described as stepping up to an elephant and placing their fingers on it, only able to see the area they could reach and feel. They could not "see" the whole of what an elephant looks like because it was simply too large for them to feel the entire thing.
I think in this verse from the Gospel Jesus is showing the same is true for us and these two enormous things happening in our world. We cannot see the totality of COVID-19's effect worldwide. We cannot see the totality of the effect of racism worldwide. What we see through the media is only seeing a small part. What we are experiencing in our own lives is a small part. We are like the blind person thinking an elephant is only the part of it they can reach and feel.
Jesus said if we find our life, we will lose it.
If we make decisions for ourselves and our lives without really seeing the bigger picture, we will lose both the worldwide battle with COVID-19 and the worldwide battle against racism.
Now is the time to lose our wants and make life giving decisions for the needs of the Common Good.
Now is the time to not just see our own little world, but see as Jesus calls us to see, with eyes open to the Common Good of the people worldwide and His presence in each and every one of us.