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Watch and Pray

“They said to Him, "Lord, we want our eyes to be opened."

Matthew 20:23

At 26 weeks our Baby Chris is now growing longer and laying on more fat. His eyes now open and close, and like most newborns, he will be born with a "wide-open gaze."

Babies’ eyes begin to develop during the fifth week of pregnancy and at four months' gestation, their eyes are nearly fully formed.

From 26 to 28 weeks' gestation, babies keep their eyes open a lot. They can detect light shining directly into the womb, such as when the mother is sunbathing. By the 33rd week of pregnancy, their pupils constrict and dilate, which allows them to better detect light. Many babies are born with their eyes open as soon as their head clears the birth canal, ready to make their first eye contact with Mom and Dad and begin taking in information about their new world. Even so, it will be a few more weeks before their visual development is complete, and another few months to fine-tune focus, tracking, depth perception, color distinction and facial recognition.

Scripture has a lot to say about sight: The healing of physical blindness was a Messianic sign prophesied by Isaiah (35:5) and fulfilled by Jesus during his ministry (John 9:6; Mark 8:23-25; Mark 10:52). Jesus offered the restoration of sight to the blind in response to John the Baptist’s question about whether he was the expected Messiah (Luke 7:18-22).

Before God gives eyes to see, humans are spiritually blind: The unbelieving, carnal human suffers from spiritual blindness sourced in Satan (2 Corinthians 4:3-4), pride (Matthew 13:15-16), ignorance (Hosea 4:6), following blind guides (Matthew 15:14), caring what others think, and more (I Corinthians 2:14). The spiritually blind are unable to discern the truth of Scripture and the truth about Christ. Their failure to understand the information they take in through their mind’s eye is distorted because of their inability to see clearly with the spiritual eyes of Christ.

Yet God does not leave us in darkness: Helen Keller became blind and deaf at the age of 19 months. Unable to take in information about – or communicate with - the outside world, she was isolated in dark silence. When Helen was six, her parents hired the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor as her teacher. After a long struggle, Annie Sullivan broke through Helen’s darkness, teaching her sign language and opening up her world. Later, in a letter to Episcopal Bishop Phillips Brooks, Helen described learning about Jesus from Annie. He related, “that [Helen] had always known about God. even before she had any words. Even before she could call God anything, she knew God was there. She did not know what it was. God had no name for her–nothing had a name for her. She had no concept of a name. But in her darkness and isolation, she knew, somehow, she was not alone. Someone was with her. She felt God’s Love. And when she received the gift of language and heard about God, she said she already knew.” God seeks out His sheep, the scattered, the broken and the lost (Ezekiel 34:11, 16; Matthew 18:12).

God prepares us from before birth to begin to see our parents’ loving gaze as our first sight; equips us to take in God’s power and nature in all of Creation with our natural eyes (Romans 1:20); seeks us out to heal our spiritual blindness and give us the eyes to see and understand the truth of God and God’s Word; and promises that one day we shall see Him as He is because we shall be like him (I John 3:2). "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (I John 3:1).

(See also the Baby Chris blog for developmental week 19, The Tree in the Middle of the Garden.”)

I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life

(John 8:11-12)

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