Read John 9:1-41
As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. Read More…
Meet Sister Edna Maier
“You show me the path for my life, in your presence the fullness of joy …” Psalm 16, verse 11 Read More…
Because I am a music lover, a song and poetic enthusiast, I delight in the various melodies that have been created to accompany God’s word. They can and often do touch our hearts with wisdom and renewed understanding. And so today, as we ponder John’s full-fledged version of the blind man’s story, I think of the hymn “Look beyond: give us a sign that we might believe in YOU.”
May we look beyond the healing happening at the touch of Jesus and wondering about the crowd’s negative response to this sight-seeing miracle!
My first encounter with a blind person happened when I was a little girl. I witnessed a woman with her white cane walking slowly on the sidewalk. I glanced with my question-mark look at my mom who quietly explained that the woman was blind and could not see. I immediately shut my eyes to see what it feels like not to see. I was not happy with this experience, so I quickly opened my eyes again. My wondering has never ceased, even now as we reflect on this biblical blind man.
And I wonder:
Were you there when his darkness turned to light? Were you there when his vacant vision turned to sight?
Today is not like any other day in his blind-from-birth, unseeing life. The touch of Jesus with a bit of homemade clay became a surprising gift of renewed sight! His eyes had opened! He could see! Oh, let it be: he could see! He could see! We celebrate his story, his song of sight-seeing delight on this fourth Sunday of Lent. Wonder of wonders: colors everywhere! Multi-colored flowers brightly singing their own song while blooming in the sun! Smiling faces, some with frowns; sheep and shepherds keeping track of wandering ways. Happy children climbing trees; food-sharing bunches of folks who had gathered to be part of the crowd - where the action was usually found - with Jesus!
Why then the ugliness that followed? Why search for reasons that the healing should not have happened? Why cast aspersions on Jesus, Healer, Lover of all people?
Continued questions of how, when and where the healing took place. Questions to the once-upon-a-time, now-healed blind man. Questions to his parents. Closed questions to which the crowd was convinced they knew the answers. But they were wrong. The healed man was right. He knew what had happened to him and he was glad. He was able to look beyond the criticisms of the crowd. And the end of his story brings him back to the beginning: his closing conversation with Jesus.
When Jesus heard that they had thrown the man out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered saying, “Who is he, Sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.” He responded, “I do believe, Lord,” and worshipped him.
This is not the end of a story. It is an invitation to dream impossible dreams for and with others, the troubled who can only see helplessness in their lives. God has done great things for us. In God’s goodness and with our faith, I do believe that there are no impossible dreams!
How good is the Good God!