Could you walk a straight line blindfolded? I’ve never tried it myself, and I’m not willing to experiment when I could fall and hurt myself, so I was glad the Mythbusters were willing to find out. Adam and Jamie tried to do it three different ways: walking, swimming, and driving without visual cues. It never worked. They even tried being blindfolded simultaneously and carrying a ladder between them so they could correct each other. Nope, that didn’t work either.
Then they checked if they could navigate their way through unfamiliar terrain in a straight line, and that was possible. Putting a bucket over their heads to limit field of vision was a challenge unless you were really alive to limited info.
Jesus gives us a straight line to walk. “Love your neighbor as yourself” is pretty direct, although Jesus will define neighbor rather broadly in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It’s nothing new to his audience; Leviticus 19:18 has the command to “love your neighbor” and Rabbi Hillel cited “do not do to another that which you yourself find hateful.” It also appears in almost every religion on earth. The only thing we need to navigate is what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves, and there’s a lot of potential for misinterpretation here.
One problem is we can have a hard time knowing how our actions affect others. We can be blind to so many things, including the consequences of what we say and do. Our good intentions can lead us in circles, our desire to be good to others can get translated into blind self-interest fairly easily. This is one reason we need each other in our journeys of faith, why we need someone to share with and help us with our path. Working together is about sharing vision, which can keep us on a straight path.
We ask Christ to be our vision, even sing a hymn with those words. We see imperfectly, like going through the woods with a bucket on our heads, but having another around can help us. Christ becomes part of us today to be our guide, our vision, our other self. Jesus tells us that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” We need Jesus if we’re going to get where we’re going.