It’s two in the morning and cold outside and raining. The vet says the only hope of saving Charlie’s eyesight is to apply an antibiotic salve every two hours for the next coupled of days, so I drag out of bed; pull on my pants, coat, and muck bots over my pajamas; and head out to Charlie’s shelter.
Charlie’s a horse. He’s managed to cover his stall mat with a thick soup of mud and manure, and Charlie is none too clean himself. He stinks.
I stick my flashlight under my right arm, reach around Charlie’s head with my left, and try to pull his eyelid back so I can squirt a bead of salve into his eye. He yanks his head away. The medicine falls into the muck. I try again. More for the mud. In desperation I squeeze the medication onto my finger and smear it across the slight crack I manage to create between his eyelids.
Charlie's Point of View
Mission accomplished (I hope), I slosh back to the house. In bed again, as I wait for the bliss of sleep, I relive the past 15 minutes from Charlie’s point of view.
His eyes hurt. He can’t see anything at night. Even in bright light, he can make out only vague shapes. There’s no dry place to lie down, so most of the night he dozes standing up. Then I show up and start poking around in his eyes. I imagine Charlie thinking, This man must really hate me!
I couldn’t hate a horse that much. The only thing that could get me out of bed at two in the morning is love. But Charlie knows nothing of my love. All he knows is that I am poking around in his eyes.
It’s something like that with us and God. When God applies spiritual eye salve, it usually strikes us as hostility. When the Bible or a friend or painful life circumstances point out changes needed in our lives, we wonder why God is so mad at us. We don’t realize that God is working to restore our spiritual eyesight, that He’s working for our good. We need to let Him do His work.
“In fact, though you do not know it, you are . . . blind . . . . So I advise you to buy from me . . . ointment for your eyes, so that you may see” (Revelation 3:17, 18).