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Walking Blind

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

My father was a member of the Lion’s Club, and actively worked to improve the lives of those experiencing blindness. He raised money for this cause and was very intentional about helping this group of people. The only person in our family who was legally blind was my mom’s grandfather, and he was quite old when I came along. As a child, I was both fearful of, and fascinated with, the concept of blindness.

My curiosity about blindness continued well into my twenties, and when my husband and I were engaged we went on a date night in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were very unfamiliar with the city, and we spent the evening walking around together exploring. We (probably me) got the idea to lead one another around the city as a trust walk. We took turns closing our eyes and being led by the other person through the streets to enable the other person to experience the city without sight. The most difficult part for me on the trust walk was when it was time to step down from a curb and cross a major city street. I had to listen closely to his instructions and stick close to him so I wouldn’t get hit by a car.

We stayed connected to one another, never letting go. We both knew we were headed toward marriage and the unspoken analogy didn’t escape us. We were getting ready to do life together and this was a way of “playing” with something intangible that would soon become real. We were going to have to rely on one another for the rest of our days together.

I recently started a Bible study of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) and last week our study group combed through the first 5 chapters of Genesis. Our pastor’s wife asked us what we were going to “put in our pocket” to think about after we left one another, and for me a phrase from Genesis 5:22 and 24 was what struck me to dwell on for the following week. In reading through the genealogy from Adam to Noah (10 generations), verse 22 says “Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters”. Verse 24 says “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.” The part “he was not” is strikingly different than all the others in the genealogy in chapter 5 that end with each generational account saying, “and he died”. This departure from the pattern of the genealogy spotlights the different information about Enoch. It sets him apart as quite unique.

In reviewing some commentary notes I found this clarification about the form of the Hebrew verb for ‘walked’ in these two verses. It is a “distinctive form that conveys the sense of an ongoing intimacy with God.” I am very curious about this relationship. How was this man so different from the other men in His relationship with God, such as heavy hitters in history like ADAM, and NOAH? Adam literally walked with God in the garden before the Fall…before Man put a huge distance between himself and our creator. Noah had to build that enormous Ark in obedience to God and spent years preparing for a massive flood during a drought. Yet this guy Enoch gets credited with walking with God and doesn’t experience physical death. Hmm. I had to look him up elsewhere in the Bible.

Enoch is mentioned in a few other places in scripture, but I see that he made it into the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11:5 where it says “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death…” He’s a Hall of Famer, but he didn’t DO anything! What?? He just walked with God??!! He didn’t build anything, he didn’t save his people from an enemy or a giant, he didn’t rescue people out of slavery, he didn’t conquer anything or rule any kingdoms. He simply “walked” with God and made the cut. So much so that he, of all of them, was spared from the sentence of death.

So, what I want to know is HOW? How could an ancient man, seven generations out from Adam, have an intimate spiritual relationship with God? I doubt they had any written form of God’s word at that point. It was unlikely there were places of worship for people to gather. What did “walking with God” look like? We can’t know from scripture other than what we’ve already extracted. He somehow pleased God with an unbroken fellowship pursuit.

In tracking this idea of walking with God, we do know it has to do with FAITH. That deep “knowing” that does not come from seeing. I recall the image of my husband and I in our younger years where I clung tightly to him when it was my turn to walk blindly, fully trusting him to lead as we navigated through potential danger and uncertainty together in an unfamiliar city. I could walk safely because he was in charge and could be completely relied on to get me safely through. He could see what I could not. The close relationship and love for one another is a picture to me of how I can walk all my days with the Lord. Nathan and I will not always be together. One of us will go and the other one will be left, but the Lord is with us always and He sees what we cannot see.

“We walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). A heart tuned to Him is the only one that can walk in step with Him. When what I see doesn’t match what I know through faith, then it is time to intentionally stop trusting the earthly eyes to allow the inner eye to call to mind what is known about God through His revealed eternal character. Walking with Him in faith may mean walking “blindly” (not seeing the path clearly) so I can trust in His eternal purposes, clinging to the One who leads me for the honor and glory of His name, not mine.

Micah 6:8 says, “He has told you, o man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Walking with the Lord requires not just faith, but humility, deferring to Him and allowing Him to lead through His Word and His Spirit.

As best I know how, I will walk humbly in faith through all my days trusting God to lead in paths that are clear to Him with the purposes for which He has created me. I’d love to bless the Lord by being one who walked with Him all the days of my life.

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