This morning in my quiet time in the Word, I was reading in Acts 9. The “prescribed” reading was only from verses 1-19, but I just couldn’t stop there. I was enjoying so much the telling of the birth of the early Church and specifically the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus. And like never before, my eyes tripped over the words “something like scales”. This was the description of what happened to Saul’s blinded eyes (God has caused his blindness for 3 days) when Simon came (sent by God–go figure) to heal Saul and restore his vision. We’re told that “something like scales” fell from Saul’s eyes. What can this mean? Well, file all of this under “best guess” because even Luke (the author of Acts) wasn’t quite sure what to call it and he was a doctor! Luke’s best wording was “something like scales” as in “I’m not quite sure, but it reminded me of scales.” And in our era of “Biggest Loser” and our obsession with weight, we might imagine two bathroom scales falling from Saul’s eyes with a metallic sounding “clunk” on the ground. But the scales that were more likely falling were like that of a fish. And believe me, I know a thing or two about fish scales. I grew up in Cape May, NJ which is the 2nd largest fishing industry town on the East coast. And not only did I grow up fishing (I caught my first fish while sitting in my stroller next to the ocean with a toy fishing pole, no joke), but I worked for 2 summers at “A & J Fish Market”. Yep, I know fish scales. I’ve been covered in them. And let me assure you that scales don’t just fall off. I’ve even had to pick scales off of my skin after a long shower in which I scrubbed and scrubbed. So, perhaps that is why I was intrigued with the idea of “something like scales fell from his eyes.”
To all those who have yet to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world, there is something undoubtedly covering their eyes; “scales” so to speak. These scales might be disguised as many different things. Scales can be self-absorbtion, intellect that can’t “logically” reconcile the concept of faith in the unseen, the pursuit of earthly gain, the desire for notoriety on any level, pain of loss that would cry out “there is no God”, or any other number of things. But no matter what it is, the fact remains that God calls to each of us, just as He did to Saul who was the most well-known Christian-hater there was at that time. God pursues people. But not all people either know that He is pursuing them or ever pursue God to the point of total embrace of His love, grace, forgiveness, and power.
So, while I was reading in Acts this morning, I heard God asking me for permission to point out the scales when they arise in my life. To be sure, I am a follower of Jesus and this decision is life-long. I have found Jesus to be true, to be real, to be alive, and to be everything that surpasses anything I would ever need or want. In Him I have forgiveness of the wretched person I am, I have peace even when life is pelting me with questions and trials, and I have hope for today, that He will use even me to touch the life of someone else with His love. And beyond hope for today, I have hope for all of life’s tomorrows, including eternity. I will spend it with Him, just as He intended from the beginning.
To those who might ever read this and find it far-fetched or confounding, I suppose I would say that God alone can release the scales from your eyes. And I don’t say that in a condescending or judgemental way. If you know me, you know that I know I’m no better than anyone. I simply have seen what kind of person I am and have seen that that person needs a Savior. And I have found that Savior in Jesus. And no matter when or where, I pray that every person might come to know Him even better than I do.