The World Health Organization estimates that 70 million people around the world are infected with trachoma. In Ethiopia alone, 86% of the population require the necessary drug to control the infection that causes widespread blindness. To many, it is known as the ‘hair in the eye’ disease. Repeated infections spread by people themselves or by flies that feed of seeping eyes, scar the underside of the eyelids. The eyelids contract forcing the lashes to turn in and scrape the eyeballs. Each blink feels like thorns raking the eyeballs.
The scratching “gradually clouds the eyeball, dimming vision and if left untreated, eventually leads to a life shrouded in darkness.” (1) People try to remedy the situation by plucking out the eyelashes but the stubble that grows back in is even sharper and causes greater pain and damage. The debilitating infection causes physical pain and emotional pain and ends it total blindness.
There is a partial remedy for those suffering from trachoma. It is a relatively simple 15 minute procedure consisting of an incision and some stitches. Health workers can be trained in less than a month to perform the procedure. But there are several major hurdles to overcome: 1) the condition is so widespread, workers are barely making a dent in responding to the needs. 2) it’s not a total remedy because it can not reverse the damage already done; and 3) most can not afford to pay for the procedure or the antibiotics to prevent trachoma.
The Bible speaks of spiritual blindness that affects not just millions of people – but all people, without exception. It causes pain and sadness, and results in a life ‘shrouded in darkness.’ Satan also works actively to morally blind the minds of people to keep them in spiritual darkness, away from God and away from the very remedy they so urgently need. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Trachoma is called the ‘hair in the eye’ disease. The spiritual darkness is called the ‘sin in the heart’ disease. Like plucking out eyelashes, often people try self-remedies for their sins – but church going, resolutions, confessions, prayers, and religious rituals do not improve their condition. If anything, all of those things help to fuel cynicism and make their darkness more painful.
But the major hurdles with the ‘sin in the heart’ disease have already been overcome. One total cure is available. “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from ALL sin.” 1 John 1:7 The type of sin does not matter. The number of sins is not an obstacle. Complete cleansing of every sin is available. Is the remedy available to all? Most definitely. Shout from the top of your lungs a loud “YES!” When Christ died on the Cross He died for all and made provision for every sinner of every age. Forgiveness is available to all.
Friend, you do not have to remain in spiritual darkness. You do not have to live a life shrouded in darkness and crippled by pain. Jesus said: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me, should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46
The Lord Jesus will bring you this very day out of darkness into His marvelous light, if you will let Him. (1Peter 2:9) The only hurdle remaining in you experiencing the cure – is your own willingness to accept it.