“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharacees. You hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.”
–Matthew 12:25 (NLT)

Neither my wife nor I can see at all. Many of our friends told jokes about blind dates when we were going out, but we just smiled because we’d heard them all before. Our friends didn’t understand that these were more than your average dates. Stephanie and I had what I call adventures in love.

I remember one such adventure most. We had been going out for about six months, and I knew there was something special about her. Consequently, I wanted to take her someplace out of the ordinary that weekend. After I had called around for a while, I found a cafe that sounded very romantic. They even promised us live music on Friday and Saturday nights. “Wow!” I thought. “This is the place. What a perfect serenade opportunity!”

But when our ride dropped us off that night, we quickly learned that the cafe door was locked tighter than a drum. For some reason, our live music venue was closed. To make matters worse, the cafe was located in a deserted industrial center full of empty office buildings. There was only one restaurant within walking distance, a little Mexican place.

After a little walking and asking around, we were finally sitting inside the restaurant. We sat there for about 20 minutes, but nobody came to our table to serve us. We were hungry and tired and to put it mildly, we were getting very impatient with the restaurant staff. This wasn’t the romantic night I had planned at all!

Finally, I decided to call the restaurant on my cell phone and try to get a waiter’s attention. However, the people on the phone could only speak Spanish, so talking with them was out of the question. Needless to say, we got up and left the restaurant a minute later. (We found out a few weeks later that the restaurant was self-service, which explains why nobody came to our table.)

After leaving the restaurant, we were stranded in the office complex, and there was hardly anyone around. We found a coffee shop, but they closed a few minutes after we got there. We were still on the hunt for some sort of dinner, romantic or otherwise.

Finally, someone told us there was a family restaurant a couple blocks away. After some discussion, I decided to call a cab. Since it was Super Bowl Sunday, the company told us it would take about an hour to get someone out to us. Stephanie and I waited in the cold until a cab finally came. Despite three different changes in dining style, we finally had our dinner at the family restaurant.

That crazy and eventful dinner turned out to be one of our greatest dates, because we grew closer as we went through all those changes in plans. It all seemed like a big unwanted mess then, but it’s something we choose to laugh about now.

As Christians, we try to be thankful for the things we have, instead of dwelling on the things we don’t have. We realize nothing is perfect in this life, so we try to make the best of each situation. Instead of an obstacle, our blindness has become an asset, and it has helped us to build a deep and lasting relationship.

While there are some exceptions, most actual blind dates are superficial at best. On a date where neither party knows each other, external impressions are the name of the game. In other words, people become preoccupied by external questions. “How do I look to her?” “Does he like this dress or hate it?” “I wonder what that glance meant.”

But since Steph and I have been blessed by blindness, we have become familiar with each other on a heart-to-heart basis. Because of this foundation, my wife is my best friend, and we do everything together.

Many times, I think all of us act like we are on a blind date with God. When unconfessed sin comes between us and our Father, it blinds us spiritually, and like the teachers of the law in our text, we try to impress Him with all kinds of external trappings. But the Bible tells us plainly that man looks on the outside, while God looks on the heart. Instead of cleaning ourselves up on the outside, I believe a spiritual heart transplant is needed in many cases, while other people need major heart surgery. To put it another way, we all need to spend time in God’s presence and let Him work His will in our lives.

Do your prayers seem empty? Are you trying to impress God with the externals of clothing, ritual or good works? Whatever the case may be, we all need to make these words of David our own: “Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit in me.”

I would encourage you not to wait to do this, my friend, for we are not promised tomorrow. Draw close to God today by bearing your heart to Him, and unnecessary externals will grow more and more insignificant as our Father’s presence fills your life.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please send it to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.
To find out more about HCMA, visit them at www.hcmachaplains.org.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.