DO you know about a species of fish called the Tetra that have no eyes? No, they're not blind. YOU read correctly, they have no eyes. This species of fish live in dark caves underwater. Typically, the cave environment is unlike the land where we live. Caves are unchanging. It is a world of total and utter darkness. Animals that live in this environment, such as the Tetra, adapt to these conditions.
I read a blog post by a friend of mine named Diane about a week ago. I can't remember all of the context, but essentially it was about being aware of the people around us. I spoke with a friend name Robin last night about our basic need to be heard. She mentioned that she tries to validate the existence of the people around her. She either takes a moment to listen to their pain, or if she doesn't have the time she makes eye contact with them while explaining that she doesn't have the time. But, who has time for that--right. Particularly, who has time for something as simple as eye contact? Offering my eyes can be so difficult for me.
Here's the bean..,the light represents those candid opportunities that God provides for us each day to pour into someone else, if for no other reason but to make them feel validated. While the darkness illustrates the selfish world that we LIVE in, where we chose to sulk in our own affliction, rather than show mercy to others as they endure theirs.
In my case, the Tetra is a symbol for my life. I surround myself with the darkness from past pain. I can't see outside the murkiness of my life. Adaptation to my obscurity is a perceived necessity, because I have convinced myself that I vaguely remember a time where there was light in my life. Even though light Is all around me, I am blinded to this obvious fact. Like these fish that live IN caves, I too have no eyes. Unable to see beyond my own darkness, I have adapted fins and swim by people in pain, day after day unaware and unmoved by their very apparent hunger to be known.
Sometimes I feel troubled when my 3 year old wants to describe A new experience that she's excited about, or when my husband wants to tell me about his hectic day. I can't stand to pull away from whatever I'm doing to empathize with a friend about an unhealthy relationship, or spend some time with a loved one who is convalescing.
As I came to this realization, I am reminded of a very simple bible study lesson. Sadia, my 3 year old shared this with me in the car ride home from VBS tonight. I asked her what she had learned in her class. She said, "The man put blood on the man's eyes, and now he can see." My confusion prompted further probing.
"Sadia," I said gengerly not wanting to discourage her desire to share, "do you mean Jesus?"
"Yeah!" she replied excitedly.
"I don't think that he put blood on the man's eyes," I said hoping to jog her memory as I realized that she was a little foggy on the details, and as I struggled to remember the particulars of this biblical account myself.
"Mommy, blood rhymes with mud," she piped as my emphasis on the word "blood" quickly triggered her memory.
Immediately, the light went on for me as well. "Oh, that's right," I exclaimed with shared enlightenment, "Jesus healed the man's blindness with mud, so that he could see"
In particular, I realize that the Light continues to shine for me. I don't have to continue living in my CAVE of misery. A man named Jesus used the fish that live in caves to bring restoration to my eyes.