E-votional - A New Vision
July 28-August 3, 2003


“And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.”

Acts 9:18-19 (NRSV)


   I'll never forget it. I had been quite the long day. We had already visited a number of sites and were being given to rest of the day to go where it was we wanted. I decided I wanted to head on to the Holy Sepulcher. Walking through the old city was a treat in and of itself. The sounds and the smells. There was the idle chatter along with the Arabic music. Hear and there I would hear an English word or two and it would grab my attention. The sounds are still within my mind. Likewise the smells. The combination of saffron, incense and other spices danced about in the air along with baking bread. Even today as I light an incense cone, I am transported back to Jerusalem. But the walk took me to a sight that led me to mixed feeling. There it was, the Holy Sepulcher, the site of the tomb of Christ. Icons everywhere, sounds and burning incense, for some reason it was bothering me. I wanted to see the tomb, not an ornate art museum. Yet, as I watched I witnessed something incredible. There, at the entrance, a lady stopped at the threshold, took off her shoes, bent down, onto her knees and began to weep. What seemed like an eternity to me, was probably no more than 4 minutes. For those four minutes this woman poured out her soul, her tears fell onto the stone, yet I wondered why? What tears were these. I never asked, instead I waited until it was my turn to enter. I walked in with one understanding of what was and exited out a different person. How is it that? I began to understand this woman, whom I had never met, but intimately knew. We shared a moment in time, and I in turned shared a moment with a place so Holy it brought tears to your eyes and left you speechless. Looking at nothing but the ground in contemplation, I left the Holy Sepulcher and entered the court yard. There I sat. Even today I do not know for how long. I thought, I watched and I prayed. After I had finished a nice conversation with God, wondering what I could do to say thanks for letting me come to this place, a great thing happened. I got an "you're welcome". A wonderfully white feather floated into my open palm.

   Hear the Good News, when we experience Christ, everything changes, beginning with us, but God is there with the change. The change can be subtle or like a bolt of lightening. Paul's experience led him to a new understanding who and what Jesus was about. Paul's future steps would be guided by a new set of eyes, he would listen and hear with a new set of ear and he would speak with a new tongue. Paul's hands would also be used in a different way. Instead of leading to the demise and persecution of the early Christians, his hands would pen some of the most meaningful letter you and I refer to each day. In a similar way, when we experience Christ, we see things differently, the scales fall from our eyes, we hear things in a new light and use our own witness and experience in a way that will bring people to know Christ.


   Gracious God, I wander through the world and my life missing so much through misunderstanding or blindness open my eyes that I may see with Your sight.  Use my hands, my feet and my mind in accordance to your will.  Help me to understand what it is You would have me do.  Let me lead people to You, for I am Yours.  I thank You for all You have done in my life and all You will continue to do, for I come to You through Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior! Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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