I sat shaking my head partially in disbelief and partially in determined disobedience. The Lord had just appeared to me, giving me very specific directions to a particular house in my city and asking me to go there to lay my hands on Saul of Tarsus. I had heard of this man. He had heavily persecuted the believers in Jerusalem and had gotten written permission to seek out believers and imprison them here in Damascus as well. The Lord had assured me that this man was a chosen vessel, the one picked by the Lord, Himself, to bring the Good News to many. Had I understood the Lord correctly? Had I imagined the whole encounter with the Lord?
If he remained blind, I reasoned, Saul could certainly do no harm. If his sight was restored, however, how many lives might be threatened, lives for which I would be responsible. The man had been neutralized. Why not leave him blind? If after a while, he demonstrated true repentance, then we could lay hands on him. I saw, in my mind’s eye, the grief that this man could cause in my city: Parents dragged off to jail leaving behind crying children, believers refusing to gather because of fear of imprisonment and even death. The cause of Christ would surely not be blessed by such a risky action. I felt certain that I must error on the side of caution. I did not want to take responsibility for harm coming to anyone.
But the Lord had said that the man, Saul, was praying, and that He had already told Saul that I would come to him and would lay my hands on him so that his sight could be restored. The Lord’s directions had seemed so specific and imperative. Did I dare to disobey? Didn’t the Lord know what He was doing? Surely He would not heal Saul, if Saul’s heart had not changed.
The inner debate over the Lord’s direction subsided. I grabbed by cloak, and went out closing the door quietly behind me. The results of my actions would be in the Lord’s hands.