The first three blind people that Heidi Baker saw healed through her ministry were all named, “Aida.” Even more intriguing to Heidi was that she was known by the people of Mozambique as “Aida,” since Aida is the Portuguese version of Heidi. Heidi knew this couldn’t be coincidence, so she asked God for the meaning of this oddity.
“You are blind,” she sensed God say. She immediately began to cry and asked God for the ability to see. She then had a vision of the Western and Eastern Church. She saw in that vision that though these churches were rich, they were spiritually wasting away and starving, eating just a few crumbs each day of the food that God was offering them to eat. They were dressed beautifully on the outside, but wearing rags on the inside.
Some of the blindest people in the world are those who think they see the most clearly, and they are often religious people. As it ends up, it’s incredibly difficult to try to lead a Christian to salvation because they are often convinced that they already have everything figured out. Paul, for example, was certain he saw God clearly—indeed, that’s why he persecuted the church so strongly. But then Jesus showed up and blinded him in order to show him his reality: He wasn’t able to see anything at all. His heart, soul, mind and strength were all misplaced and focused on the wrong things. He was anti christ. If he wanted to be able to see again, then he would need to take the hands of the Christians who would lead him toward Jesus.
As strange as it sounds, it almost feels as though Paul was able to take the power of this experience with him. While out sharing the gospel, Paul met a magician named, “Bar-Jesus,” which means, “Son of Jesus”—a fitting name for a false prophet that was trying to compete with the real deal. But Paul saw him for what he was: a “son of the devil.” Paul had once been just as blind as this man before God opened his eyes to see clearly, and now it was Bar-Jesus’s turn. So by the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul supernaturally blinded the false prophet, telling him he would be unable to see for a time. While we don’t know how this story ended, we can only hope that Bar-Jesus got the point and was able to come to Christ through his blindness too. May we, too, be cured of our blindness.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Acts 12:18-25 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net. Check out Heidi’s story in her book, Birthing the Miraculous.