Seeing When We Can't See

Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you... - Job 42
And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. - Mark 10

Dear friends-

Oh, come on now; I don't believe in miracles like the one that unfolds in Mark's Gospel. Like so many people, I've waited and waited for a similar miracle to happen to someone I love - or maybe me - and IT NEVER HAPPENS.

Except... Oh, yeah; there was that time... A dear friend, who kept tripping over the same stone, every time he/she walked down the path. We would all watch him/her strolling blithely along, with the same oblivious expression, the same stupid numbness. Everyone who loved him/her watched sadly, loving deeply, knowing we'd have to watch the same tragedy again; getting angry at her/him; powerless to figure out what to say or do that would prevent the same catastrophe from happening for the umpteenth time. Another broken relationship. Maybe another spiral into drunken stupor. Another failure in the workplace. Another sad opportunity to scrape this beloved mess of a soul up off the muddy path.

And, like Jesus, we would look into the tear-stained face and cry out, "What do you want me to do for you?" It's easy to picture Jesus walking through his world, calmly teaching his puzzled followers and healing strangers, but I imagine his voice carrying the same agony as ours did: "WHAT do you want me to DO for you?" He loved these people; still does. I hear the sob in his voice, just like our weeping, as our friend lay splayed out beside that same old stone in the path, shedding tears that mirrored our own.

And then one day, something changed. The friend (choose here) threw away the bottle or the needle; decided one bleary, desperate morning to call a counselor; walked into a church and fell on his/her knees and cried out, "God forgive me, a sinner!" or maybe, "My teacher, let me see again! [For the first time!]"

And when we, who love this dear, broken friend, watched her/him carefully steer around that old, familiar, cursed stone the next time it appeared in his/her path, we were astounded. We rejoiced. And we were chastened for our cynical inability to believe in miracles. Our refusal to believe in that gift of God - that gift of "I-Love-You-No-Matter-What" - was actually our own stone in the road. We had tripped over it countless times.

And like Job, who, after a long and brutal argument with God about who God really is and how God works in Creation, finally allowed the light to come on, we spoke, with a strange mix of shame and elation in our voices, the same words as Job: "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you..."

Our senses often betray us. We think we hear God's word, but we don't see it. We think we see it, but we don't taste it. We think we taste it, but we don't touch it.

Sometimes, it takes taste buds to see; it takes feeling hands and eyes in order to hear. Our senses are vitally important to us, yet they work as a team. Andthey live together in open hearts. The blind man crying to Jesus figured that out only when he understood that Jesus saw and recognized his faith. Job figured it out, with prayer and an honest argument with the God who was always listening, even as Job wailed in fruitless agony. Our friend figured that out; his/her friends don't fully understand how, but it hardly matters.

Such a miracle.

We explore and celebrate such miracles whenever we worship. One of our worship times is at 10 AM on Sunday. We warmly invite your presence; come cry out, "Let me see again!", or share your own miracle. Or do both. The open heart has room for both regret and delight.

Sabbath blessings-
AFP