hold lightly to your blessings

Hold Lightly Your Blessings

“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.”

Ecclesiastes 11:1

My friend, Peter Sumner, directs the Christian Blind Mission in New Zealand. Peter himself was visually impaired at an early age and has spent decades in darkness. A miracle happened in Peter’s life several years ago when an eye specialist performed a corneal graft on Peter’s eyes. Suddenly, after years without sight, he was able to see. Peter relished brilliant sunsets and smiles on the faces of friends. He told me that he never imagined yellow to be so… yellow!

Peter told me in a recent letter that he has suffered a setback. The corneal graft has developed an ulceration. “This reduced my vision significantly and was rather worrying,” he wrote. “Sight, I have found, is quite addictive and the thought of losing it all, once again, was very difficult to bear. I’m pleased to say that my condition has stabilized and, at the present, I can read letters with the help of a strong light and a magnifying glass.”

At that point, Peter inserted a line from a poem by William Blake: “He who binds himself to a joy, does the winged life destroy; but he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity’s sunrise.”

Peter then added, “Joni, I have had to learn not to bind to myself the joy of sight but to kiss this winged blessing as it flies through my life. At times, the urge to grab and hold onto it is overwhelming, but in my heart of hearts, I realize one has to develop a certain detachment to joys of all kinds in order to escape the insidious poisons of bitterness and despair.”

Great Giver of all gifts, thank you for the blessings of this life. Help me to hold loosely, very lightly the gifts that you bestow. Help me to hold fast to you.

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