Notice Leah’s Eyes, [Handicaps]

Portait of woman wearing scarf with eyes closed Stuck in the wonderful convolutions of scripture we can start a great study of Leah and her sister Rachel. These two daughters of Laban have become Jacob’s wives.

Now, we may question this polygamy when all we know is monogamy. These kind of decisions may be criticized and even outright challenged, but we will change nothing (and does it really matter)?

Jacob longs for Rachel. She is his “soul mate” and because he is so much in love, the customs and technicalities of the day somehow get by him. Because of this, he will have to take on Laban’s subtle trickery, where daughters get exchanged, and he must sort out who is who. Laban’s deception really creates a crisis. But it seems Jacob just rolls with it. I suppose deception has always been Jacob’s strong suit. (But when a deceiver gets deceived, that can’t be all bad, I suppose).

Jacob is so in love with Rachel that he works for seven years for the right to marry her. This may be a bit outrageous. But we really must weigh these issues. I believe Jacob really is a monogamist at heart (shh… don’t tell him). He can only see that one girl that he is crazy about, his true love, Rachel. But it’s Leah that I think about. Her own issues are unique. Genesis 29 explains it a bit cryptically,

“Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.” 

Genesis 29:17

I must tell you that there is confusion by commentators about the “weak eyes.” Some take it literally (as in, she in very “near-sighted,”) others who look at the original Hebrew find the words to be a bit looser and vague. They think that this is a polite way of saying she really wasn’t pretty. IDK, but I think I can gain from either interpretation.

In the long view, Leah would birth four patriarchs for Israel. But she would struggle with jealousy over her younger sister’s beauty and favor. Her pain was real, and she would hurt deeply over this.

I think I may understand Leah. She is wounded, and life requires that she live as unwanted. She sticks out as a woman of tragedy and broken hopes and dreams. She will always live as a reject. At best, she will always be a distant second, and perhaps a bit scorned and neglected for this.

I so love Leah. Her life is a long tragedy and very full of sadness. For the next 30-40 years she will always be a cast-off, someone who has been broken on life’s hard wheel. I look at her with a painful bit of understanding. She reminds me of being a struggler and a survivor. Her sad life is comparable to us who have to fight so hard over our own illness or handicap.

I suppose its “Leah’s eyes” that catch me. I have no idea what the issue was. But I know that she was weak, and challenged by this terrible weakness. I understand this. My own life has been “topsy-turvy” and a really hard struggle. Somehow it seems we must work through way too much. It doesn’t seem fair. But than again, we are the ones who must drink our adversity straight; and the ones who get to know special comfort.

For those of you who are confined to a ‘chair,’ and the others who must deal with mental illness. Leah should be our hero.

Those who have been betrayed by addiction, or who have felt rejected through a bitter divorce. Leah speaks to us. For she is for every loser and for failures of all stripes. But through all of our “set-backs” and messes, we must realize that God does love us– even as we weep.

We may have “Leah’s eyes,” but we also have His grace.

One more thought that might be relevant:

“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time.”

–Francis de Sales

bry-signat (1)

cropped-christiangraffiti1.jpg

&

About Pastor Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy, and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
This entry was posted in addiction, affliction, alcohol and drug abuse, an intense love, battle, battle wounds, believer, betrayal, Bible study, biography, bipolar disorder, birth defect, bitterness, blind, BPD, brokenness, brothers, challenges, christlikeness, comfort, comparisons, compassion, complexity, conflict, confusion, crisis, crushing, deception, decisions, derailment, despair, desperation, devotional, difficulties, discernment, discipleship, distinctiveness, encouragement, endurance, failure, faith, frustration, God, grace, handicapped, helpful, hope, humility, humor, impulsive, joy, kyrie eleison, lessons learned,, life, life lessons, lost causes, love, mental illness, mercy, pain, pathetic, personal comments, quite useful,, regret, rest in God, scars, self hatred, self-pity, Serving Mentally Ill Christians, shame, sin, sorrow, spiritual lessons, substance abuse, suffering, tangled up, teens in crisis, transformation, trials, trust, truth, understanding, Very helpful, waiting, weakness, wisdom, women, Word and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Notice Leah’s Eyes, [Handicaps]

  1. Pattie Tucker says:

    Often I have thought of myself as a sister of Leah. I feel her pain of being provided for out of responsibility and not of love. I feel her pain of watching others happy smiling, enjoying life. Feeling like none of the joys of life were meant for me. Leah eyes may have been weak for many reasons, maybe just due to her tears. I have prayed that I could be Rachel, Happy Loved, Whole. . I just want to feel loved and whole.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.