Blind Bartimaeus was physically blind, but spiritual blindness is very often the hardest blindness to recognize. John Newton’s journey into spiritual light had many detours. He was forced into the service of the Royal Navy. Newton’s speech and manner were so profane and vulgar that his shipmates considered him to be little more than an animal—sub-human. Then to avoid court martial, he asked to be placed on a slaving vessel and then eventually he became captain of his own slave trading ship, sailing regularly from Sierra Leone on the West African coast. It is when he survived a terrible storm at sea that Newton finally started to believe in a power higher than himself. It took many years for him to turn his life around, to the point where he felt called to the ministry and petitioned the Church of England to pursue ordination as an Anglican priest. He wrote many hymns. One of the most beloved of his hymns, we know as, “Amazing Grace,” in which he wrote: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
Prayer: Father God, open my spiritual eyes to see you more clearly. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Randy Conley,
Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Faith, NC.