For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
I read these words, and my mind flashed back to a day at the voting polls. I was teaching my children how important it is to be involved in every area that matters to God. Yes, God cares about voting. In our country, we can change the course of history just by the way we vote.
Sorry, where was I? The voting polls. Yes, there I was with nine of my eleven children, all standing outside along the path, handing out papers, and thanking people for voting when an elegantly dressed woman approached me. She was tall, slender, and beautiful. She must have been in her early fifties but looked young for her age.
I was entirely unprepared for what happened next. This woman leaned in close to me and told me I was wrong. She asked how I could vote for the person for whom I was voting and believe that God was okay with it.
“Are you a God-fearing woman?” I gently asked her. She answered yes, she was and named the church she attended. I then explained to her, as women of God, we can not vote for anyone who would believe certain political views were right; these things are sins.
She replied, “Oh, I don’t know about that, so I am not responsible for it. I don’t know what that means so I won’t be held accountable.”
After a few seconds of shock as her words rippled through me, I said, “I do know what it means so let me enlighten you.”
I began to tell her the horror of what she was voting in favor of; she stuck her fingers in her ears and started repeating, “I am not listening, so I am not accountable.”
The louder I shouted, the louder she yelled. The thought of two grown women shouting like a bunch of kids on a playground, trying to win their case, was almost comical. But it was sad at the same time. I often remember that day both with laughter and disbelief. A grown woman standing there in her elegant outfit, jewelry, and perfect makeup, with her fingers in her ears and eyes squeezed shut, screaming, “I’m not listening.” And a pregnant woman yelling back while nine sets of young eyes watched.
I wonder how we look to God as we allow our hearts to wax cold and our fingers to fill our ears? Okay, maybe not fingers, maybe just earbuds. With our eyes shut tight. Or maybe not closed completely but looking elsewhere, like at the TV or, well you fill in the blank. I know I’m guilty of this. I can easily find my own devices to block my ears and shut my eyes to the Lord while He gently tries to get me to come away with him. Isn’t our act of blocking God out an admittance that we know the truth and are refusing His healing?
Don’t get me wrong; I was passionate with all my heart about what I was doing that day. I wanted this woman to hear me and learn the truth. I am not sure that if what I said or how I said it convinced her, she clearly did not want to hear the truth. But I can say the Lord is always gently speaking to us, calling us to come away with him.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Is that not how the Lord calls to us even today? Peter denied him three times but not once did Jesus say, “Peter, how could you!” Instead, he asked Peter while making him a fish breakfast, “Peter, do you love me?” Each time it reaffirmed in Peter’s mind that he did love the Lord and would never deny him again.
What are you sticking in your ears to make it difficult to hear the voice of God today? What is the Lord whispering to you? What are you shutting your eyes to that makes it hard to see what the Lord is trying to show you?
Don’t be afraid. Unblock your ears and open your eyes. What God says, He says in love, and what God wants for you will heal you!
~ JoAnn Jones