Esref Armagan is an extraordinary Turkish man who loves to paint. While his artwork may be unimpressive, the remarkableness of Esref is that he is completely blind. As a result of a genetic mutation, he was born with no eyes, however this seeming defect has given him the most remarkable power. He has the ability to paint having never seen colour or light.
When asked how he can do this, his answer is simple, he believes what he see’s in his mind and brings it to life by putting it on canvas. “No one can call me blind. I can see more with my fingers than sighted people can see with their eyes”.
Scientists wanted to understand this phenomenon so he agreed to let them study his brain. They connected him to an MRI scan, and as he thought about drawing a picture, regions of his brain that shouldn’t have any activity due to his blindness, reacted and lit up dynamically whenever Esref was painting.
There is a lot this amazing man can teach us. Esref doesn’t have to see to believe. He sees because he believes!
“Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” John 20.29 (NLT)
I believe this is what God is like. He has a picture in His mind about the person we are. It’s not based on what we look like or the things we have done. Our successes or our failures. Nothing as obvious as that!
It is a picture based on pure faith. He sees us very differently to how we see ourselves and He asks us to trust that what He sees is right.
It is one of the greatest struggles we have as humans, trusting God’s picture of us rather than the reality of what we see. We look and see our flaws and failings. God looks and sees His child, full of potential and capable of great things.
Scripture tells us to walk by faith and not by sight. It’s how Esref lives his life. It may not feel right to us, but since when is faith about feelings.