I’m a little embarrassed. I’ve decided I have a very patient husband. Going to Sabino Canyon right after we moved back to Tucson and for the first time since my eye surgery five years ago must have felt like taking a five-year-old who had a new pair of shoes she wanted to show off.
I couldn’t keep my mouth quiet.
A docent helped us buy tickets to ride the tram into the canyon. “I’m so excited to be here,” I told her. “I was born and raised in Tucson and my family hiked this canyon often. But I was legally blind back then. Five years ago, I had a surgery that doubled the vision in one eye and now I’m going to see the canyon in ways I’ve never seen before.”
“I’m so happy for you.” Those were her words. Her tone said, “I don’t have time for chatty tourists smitten with the scenery.”
Undaunted, I spilled my joy to the crabby tram driver who kept yelling at hikers to don their face masks. She looked like she needed some joy. As I spilled my story, I got nervous. She wasn’t saying anything, and her mask masked her reaction. Uh oh, I thought. I’m sounding like a chattery five-year-old again. But she got it. She remembered what it was like for her daughter with her first pair of glasses. “How much more exciting for you,” she concluded.
Yeah. A big yeah.
But maybe I’d better cool my jets and not pounce on strangers anymore.
Another chance to tell the story
My long-suffering husband and I wondered around the grounds near the Visitor’s Center and decided to funnel my joy in one of my What I Saw Today Youtube videos. I forgot that to make a video, I must speak out loud and that there are people nearby. We finished the video and started to review it as a young man walked past.
“I heard that God word,” he said.
Sigh. I’m a lost cause. I jumped up. “Did you hear my story?”
He grinned. He wasn’t wearing a face mask. “Enough to hear the God word.” Uncork the bottle and let my words flow. I started to tell the story.
“That’s so neat,” he interrupted after two sentences. “Have you seen The Chosen?”
And he described the scene of Jesus healing the blind man.
That got both of us going. He kept asking questions, reflecting on what I said, and responding with more and more enthusiasm. I told him about the surgery, about the ensuing What I Saw Today Facebook group, and how God pulled all this together to let me get my book, With Fresh Eyes, published (due to released October 2021).
Most important, I was able to articulate from my own experience what those people Jesus healed of blindness must have felt and faced when they received new sight.
“Thank you so much,” he said. “I needed this today. Can I give you a hug?”
So there, in the middle of the Sabino Canyon Visitor’s Center garden, unmasked, in front of my husband, a strange young man and I, a 60-year-old woman, hugged because we were filled with the joy and excitement of what God can do.
Some others who were compelled to tell the story
Peter and John left their restraint filters at home too. They had seen something they’d never seen before. A dead man had come back to life. The resurrection power of Jesus healed a man crippled for over forty years. Those followers of Jesus couldn’t keep quiet. Disapproval, jail, even death could not keep their mouths shut from telling the wonderful thing they had seen.
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”Acts 4:20, NIV
The payoff was worth it when some people listened and admitted that they needed to hear that good news. The next chapter in Acts tells that more and more people believed in the Lord (Acts 5:14). That’s why we tell—so others will believe and desire to trust the resurrection power of the Son of God.
What’s the most exciting thing you have seen God do?
How excited are you about it? How willing would you be to tell the story to anyone, even a stranger? Pray today that God fill you with joy for what he has done for you. Then pray that the Lord will give you an audience with whom you can share the story.
Let us hear from you. Tell us about a time you’ve been able to share your story.