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Why Didn’t You Tell Me?

Tell Me

If you have spent any time at all on YouTube, you have probably seen videos of people hearing for the first time or people seeing color for the first time—videos of people who, through the miracles of modern science, have senses restored that had either been missing altogether or that had become dull through illness or accidents. It is hard not to be moved as a child hears her mother’s voice for the first time or to be thrilled as a man gets his first glimpse of the world in color.

But we only ever see the beginning of these journeys. After all, short-form videos can show us little more than the first reactions—the gasps of surprise, the looks of wonder, the tears of joy. But there is, of course, much more to learn and much more to celebrate in the days that follow.

I recently read of a teenager whose hearing had been restored. After some time had passed, the teen eventually said something like this to her mother: “You didn’t tell me that music is so beautiful. Why didn’t you tell me just how stirring it is to listen to Pachelbel’s Canon or how Handel’s Messiah can bring tears to my eyes? Why didn’t you tell me?”

And eventually, the person who was color blind must say to his wife, “I just didn’t know how beautiful the world is. Why didn’t you tell me how stunning it is to watch the orange rays of the sun as it sets over the ocean? Why didn’t you tell me how beautiful you look when you wear that red dress? Why didn’t you help me understand?”

And the mother of the person who had been deaf said, “I tried to explain, but until your ears were unblocked, you could not truly understand. You needed to be cured before you could grasp what I had so often tried to tell you.” The wife of the man who had been colorblind must have said, “I did my best to explain, but until your eyes were opened you simply could not see and therefore you could not understand. I tried to describe red and pink and orange, but you could not appreciate them until you could see them.”

And isn’t that the experience of those of us who have come to faith in the Lord Jesus? People tried to tell us what it is like to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, but it did not sound very compelling. They tried to show us the glories of Christ, but he did not look very glorious. For years or even decades we were told and we were shown. And we judged it bland and boring.

But then God unblocked our ears and we heard. He opened our eyes and we saw. And then we began to hear what our ears had been unable to catch, to see what our eyes had been unable to glimpse. And we might have been tempted to go to our Christian friends and family members to say, “Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you show me?” But they could only have replied, “We tried. We tried, but you were deaf and could not hear. You were blind and could not see. But let’s praise God together that he has given hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind. Let’s praise God that he has allowed you to hear and see the glories of Christ.”

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