"How then were your eyes opened?" They asked.
A popular birthday party game when I am growing up is "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". The elements of the game are simple: Post a picture on the wall of a donkey minus its tail; give a tail to every player; blindfold each in turn; twirl the person around until she is dizzy and disoriented; face her in the direction of the donkey, and hope she can pin the tail close to the animal's rump.
I hate this game . . .
Partly, because I cannot stand being blindfolded.
Mostly, because of one humiliating experience at one particular birthday party.
"Who wants to be first?" Asks the mother of the birthday girl.
Of course, never having played before, I want to go first. My six-year-old enthusiasm is uncontainable. The mom notices. She chooses me.
"Okay, Martha, here's your donkey tail."
I make sure to grasp it firmly, determined to place it at its proper destination.
"Now, for the blindfold."
The thick cloth descends over my eyes. I can't see a thing. Panic simmers just below the surface.
Then, she ties it. Tight! So tight, it painfully pinches the roots of my hair. Presses mercilessly against my eye sockets.
Had my throat been the bandana's victim, I would surely have choked to death.
"And, here comes the fun part," the mom announces. "Let's spin you round and round!"
Her hands grip my shoulders like a vise. She whirls me so roughly, my feet are literally dancing in an effort to keep me upright.
When she finally stops and points me in the right direction, my head is a twirling top. I stagger like a sodden lush, lost and reeling, toward the goal. Arms outstretched. Tail in hand.
I stick the tail to the paper.
The gales of laughter which ensue tell me I have missed the mark.
Big time . . .
My head is jerked backwards, my hair yanked, as the mother tears away the bandana from my eyes.
And, through tears I am unable to fight, I am so relieved to see once again, I hardly mind that I placed the donkey's tail right between his eyes.
I retreat to a far corner, dry my tears on my sleeve, and watch.
That's when my eyes are truly opened . . .
Every little girl takes her turn. The bandanas are tied gently. The spinning is minimal.
All come closer to the mark than I.
The birthday girl's lands squarely on the target.
It is my first experience with not being liked. I don't understand . . .
Up until this moment, I am blind to unkindness in this world.
But, now I see . . .
When, in your life, were your eyes opened to the truth?
Will you pray with me?
We ask, Father, that You keep our eyes open and focused upon Your truth. We are never lost nor forsaken when we seek to walk with You. Help us to open the eyes of others to Your Word, Your love, Your grace. Amen.
Psalms 85, 87 or 89:1-29
John 9:1-12, 35-38