March 19, 2015 By: Hannah Canterbury
6 After saying this, Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam”. So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him. “But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.”
The story of the blind man is one that many of us have heard several times. Jesus healed this man that was born blind, a man that had been suffering on the streets as a beggar. What an overwhelming experience, to go from having no sense of what the world looks like, to then seeing the vibrancy of the world you have lived in for so long.
Many of us have had life experiences that have changed our entire world, our perspective, our understandings and the way we live life. Some changes happen as quickly as it did for this blind man, mud on his eyes, and washing it off. Maybe an accident changing our capabilities or loss of a family member that changes our way of functioning. Other changes may happen slowly over a span of time, and we might not even realize it’s happening.
We have social norms in our culture and world, expectations of how things will work and flow after these life occurrences happen. When suffering and struggles occur our culture and society very often gives us the idea that these things are negative, they will impact us negatively, taking away from our lives in some way. The society and world around the blind man certainly did the same thing, only ever seeing him as a man sitting on the street begging; a negative thing. No one ever looked at that man’s suffering as a chance for God to display his great power and work and even after the miracle they were in disbelief.
My question today is who decides the effects of your struggles and suffering?
Lent is a great time of reflection, a time to reflect on our past and the steps that have been taken along our journey thus far. Certainly there are steps that we see in our life that represent our struggles and trials, steps that we did not necessarily choose but things that happened against our desire. Do we allow ourselves to continue looking at these steps with the normal expectation of giving them negative value, or take the opportunity to look at them as a chance for us to triumph over our struggles? Perhaps then all could see that God’s work has been displayed after the hardship, in our ability to live on afterward.
God, help us to open our eyes, to see the vibrancy of our lives though we may not have seen it before. Let us take a hold of our experiences and allow us to see you through them.