SOrry for the double post but I had trouble getting Photobucket to do what I wanted. Many of my classmates are still battling endless bouts of disease this winter. For them I pray for healing and restoration. It somehow seems appropriate that the reading for Sunday from the Gospel of John is a story of healing. In this case the healing of a man who has been blind from birth.
It is hard to imagine the flood of emotions when you see for the first time- ever. I have been told that when people hear who were deaf that it takes awhile for their brain to catch up and be able to interpret what the neurons are doing. But imagine what it would be like to actually see what only your imagination could provide before. And imagine the even greater liberation of knowing that you are not an untouchable sinner. It is hard today to fathom that it was believed that being blind was the result of sin- what it your sin? your parents'? It is a harsh reality to picture one's health in terms of " you get what you deserve."
Each of the pictures in this slide show depicts the healing of the blind man. Each has a distinct style and message. My favorite is the Mafa picture because it is in this picture that there is a look of deep emotion on the face of the man being healed. While this story speaks of the power and identity of Jesus, the transformation of this man from multiple levels of bondage is most clearly seen here for me.
In many ways this man has been freed from a life where, as a sinner, he has been shunned. He is beyond the aid of the community, a community which has judged him and his family. Dependent upon the benevolence of others who might only give when it was important to look good. He cannot work or worship. He has no friends. His parents have long been wondering what they did to deserve a blind child. He is a beggar not merely for money but for any sign of love or care. The community is in fact blind to him.
Blindness in our lives can be literal or figurative. The things we cannot see, choose not to see, are unable to see. In each of our lives, there are things to which we are blind, people to whom we are blind. May Jesus work in us to remove our blindness so that we may more fully be about the mission to which we are called.