Yesterday one of the featured books during Storytime at the library was Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. Puppets made the telling absolutely delightful. We were fortunate as the volunteer story teller happened to be an accomplished puppeteer. Cate loved the big reveal at the end.
In the story seven little mice each examine a different part of the elephant and decide they know what the object is. However, it isn’t until the seventh mouse runs across, around, up, and down – over the entire elephant that its true identity is discovered.
The story ends with the moral: “Knowing in part may make a fine tale, but wisdom comes from seeing the whole.”
Seven Blind Mice is a great little book for many reasons. The color references, the days of the week, and the ordinal numbers all lead to great teaching lessons. The reference to the obvious moral that we don’t always see the “big picture” and make incorrect judgements, that's easy. But I think equally important is to note and discuss that the mice were blind. Their blindness kept them from seeing the whole picture.
Spiritual blindness can cause us to reject the truth until we become satisfied and smug to exist in the darkness of our own incomplete perceptions. Perceptions are not always the truth. Each mouse in the story was happy to believe that the elephant was something else. At least, until another mouse, who had a different idea and perspective, challenged his perception and then the very state of his blindness was revealed.
I have to remind myself, so many times, that what I know about God and the gospel is limited. My understanding is mortal. He has only given enough information to get back home. I can live with that. But I love the idea that someday we will see more clearly instead of through a glass darkly and the mortal perceptions we formed that caused us to be confused sometimes, caused us pain even, will be seen through new eyes.
The journey to knowing God of course is through His Son, the healer of the blind. But then over and over, the Lord tells us that 'walking by sight' is not one of the essential senses required in this life. There is another sense more powerful than sight we are to develop here. Faith, the kind born by the spirit, can inform us and help us see clearly. But that is unexplainable to some.
It's also good to remember that just because others challenge our perceptions doesn't mean they see the whole either. In fact, most often they do not. I'm reminded of this firestorm: http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03/16/god-exists-and-hes-mormon
It makes me laugh. The comments generated. Oh. My.
All this from Storytime at Orem Public Library. he he he