Most of us have heard the question “Where’s Waldo?” The subject of the inquiry is the location of a fictitious character named Waldo who hides in the midst of chaos – hides in plain sight.
For many years, we had a canine son named Skippy. The humorous stories associated with Skippy are legion, especially since he was over 18 years old when he died. One Christmas, after the family had torn open the presents, we took the following picture and named it “Where’s Skippy?”
Now, we have “Where’s Waldo” when Cuddles bundles herself under a blanket and it is only after calling her name that her head comes out from her hiding place. Here she is in her “you can’t see me now” pose.
“Where’s Waldo” is not the only hiding in plain sight phenomenon, however. There is also the condition we call “Refrigerator Blindness” and it appears that the majority of the men in my family are afflicted with it. No doctor will diagnose it and no eyeglasses will correct it. It is a condition where the man will be asked to obtain something from the refrigerator, closet, pantry, well almost anywhere. He will look for it and come back without it, usually saying “It isn’t there.” [It seems that this condition does not affect vision for the retrieval of anything related to the car, garage, Pep Boys or the automotive section of Walmart.]
Our grandsons are afflicted with this condition. When the family comes to visit, I will ask them to get their pajamas, and, uniformly, they will return still in their street clothes.
Me: “Where are your jammies?”
Them: “I can’t find them.”
Me: “They are in your suitcase.”
They go upstairs and return in their street clothes.
Me: “You aren’t in your jammies.”
Them: “I can’t find them.”
Me: “They are in your suitcase.”
Them: “No they aren’t.”
Me: “Yes they are – I put them in there myself. Go look in the suitcase for your jammies.”
They go upstairs and come back in their jammies.
Me: “Where were they?”
Them: “In the suitcase.”
Our most recent incident of Refrigerator Blindness occurred this morning when the calendar reminded us that Cuddles and Snickers were due to take their flea and heartworm monthly medicine.
This medicine is stored in its box, with the name splayed across the top, in a closet that has shelves on both sides for storage of a wide variety of things, such as sheets, office materials, etc.
After perusing the supply closet in pursuit of the canine tablets, my Beloved asked where I had put them. I responded that the two boxes (one box for each dog) were on the shelf in the closet. As I turned to look in the closet where he was standing, I noticed that he had apparently exhausted looking at the shelf with most of the little things on it and had moved his gaze to the shelf with the sheets and towels. Knowing that dog medicine would not be mixed in with the linen, I went into the closet.
Refrigerator Blindness had struck with a vengeance. The box, with the labeled side facing him, was on the second shelf at eye level for my Beloved. If there had been a hand sticking out of the box, it likely would have hit him in the face. I said something like “You’re kidding me, right?”, and pointed directly to the box. His face revealed that he was not, in fact, kidding but that he actually had missed seeing the box altogether.
While this is a glimpse into our family life that you may or may not want to have, it has application to our spiritual life. We all can have spiritual Refrigerator Blindness, and not just the men/boys/children either.
- How often has our Beloved Lord Jesus Christ given us blessings which we did not see and for which we did not give thanks. Through the Prophet Jeremiah, God said:
Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: Jeremiah 5:21
In Matthew 13:13-14 Jesus said:
This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.’
In 1 Corinthians 9:22-23, Paul says:
To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
- How often have we relied on His grace that He has given to us so richly, and we don’t even praise His name in gratitude for His mercy and love. Proverbs 3:34 says:
“He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.”
The Apostle John says:
“From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16.
In Romans 3:21-24 we read:
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
- How often have we seen a person in need but we have moved right on ahead with our own agenda because his/her need did not register on our own personal spiritual Richter scale?
- How often have we been approached by sinners who are hiding in plain sight. They mix in with everyone and it is hard to find them in the crush of people, schedules and day-to-day requirements that we have.
Lord, forgive me; give me the grace
- to see those in need around me;
- to see the brother or sister who desires to know the Lord but does not have the right vocabulary to express the need;
- to see people as you see them, Lord. Take the scales off my eyes so that I see people as you see them, and then give me the grace to witness freely to anyone You put in my path.
Then thank Him with a heart full of gratitude for His mercy, compassion and love.