Tuesday, January 09, 2007

on being blind

My study on the Gospel of John over the past few days included the story of a man born blind. Jesus healed him on the Sabbath-he's the guy that got the spit mask on his eyes. I have read this story over and over again, and still find certain remarkable elements of human nature contained in it that never seem to change. Being that it was a "man" who was healed, he lived his whole life physically not seeing the world, his family, anything around him. This was a miracle without question, and yet here's the crazy part-first of all, the religious leaders in the town refused to recognize that fact. This man had been a begger for years, known by all. But to them the primary issue was, Jesus broke the Sabbath by working. To them He sinned by healing someone, and that was all they saw. They repeatedly questioned the man, "Who did this?" "How did He do it?" I can just imagine the man standing there, blinking in the sun, seeing the wonder of the world for the first time in his life, and being assaulted by this crowd of men he had never seen and probably at that moment could have cared less about-he was no doubt looking over their turbans into the cerulean skies, the sheer brilliance of sun-bleached clouds and marveling. Their words must have sounded like so much fly-buzzing, but they persisted. They who left this man in his misery for years now cared-why?

More incredulously, the leaders questioned this man's parents, "Is this your son?" And again, though a miracle of front-page Judean news happened right before the sighted, his parents answered, "We know he is our son and we know he was born blind, but how he came to see we don't know-ask him". And the text simply states, they said this because they were afraid of the temple leaders and of being ex-communicated for supporting Jesus' claims about Himself. There was nothing there to recommend Christ to these parents, not even a son who could now truly see the people who gave him life and raised him. What a moment this could have been! What a joyful reunion! "We don't know-ask him". My heart rips in half as a parent to read this.

But thankfully the story doesn't end here. The man was turned out of the temple for asking the leaders if they wanted to believe in Jesus, too, and he wandered away. Where would you go, seeing for the first time-how disorienting the world would suddenly be! Just then this man heard a voice asking him, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" He answered, "Point Him out to me, sir, so that I may believe in Him". The voice answered, "You are looking at Him. Don't you recognize the sound of My voice?" At that the scriptures say the man proclaimed his belief and worshipped Jesus. "Don't you recognize the sound of My voice?" Those words pierced me.

I began to think about Brandon, and the one thing that is so clear to me, is once my poor son was blind and now he sees. If I cannot rejoice, if I cannot recognize the sound of the Lord's voice in this, I'm the blind one. He should be dead. He raised a loaded gun to his head, but most certainly did that in so many ways throughout his life, and the gun was stopped from firing. There is no logical explanation except, we have a God who breaks His own physical laws to display His total nature, which is love. It is that which causes the eyes of the heart to be open in some, and remain firmly closed in others who will not accept the truth, who will accept that He is love.


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