While I am in the world, am the light of the world.
I have heard of this man, Jesus, the son of the carpenter Joseph and his wife Mary. Some say that he is the anointed one of God. I don’t understand how this can be, isn’t he just one of us? As I sit on the dusty street hoping for charity from my kinsmen I listen to what is being said about Jesus. There have been signs seen by some making them believe that he is the One, the Messiah. A cripple, lowered through the roof of a home, walked after Jesus merely told him to rise. I heard that another blind man now sees after his encounter with Jesus. It is said that water was turned into wine at Jesus’s command. I do not say that I disbelieve these accounts of miraculous signs but I am skeptical since Jesus is a carpenter like his father. Who am I to judge though? The works of God are a mystery to us all.
I have heard that Jesus will be passing through our village soon. It is my desire to have him lay his hands on me. But how will I know if he is nearby since I cannot see? Surely he would not notice another beggar on the crowded streets. Perhaps if I yell loudly enough he will be able to hear me above the shuffle of the many feet of those who will surely surround him. I will stand tall to make myself more visible. Yes, that is what I will do.
I get to my usual place early even though Jesus will not to arrive until the mid-day meal. I can already hear the murmurings of the people: “Certainly this Jesus is a fraud.”; “He can dupe others but not me!”; “Miracles…ha! Only God can perform a miracle.” I’m not so sure they’re right, I think to myself. God said that the Messiah would come from our people. That he would be from ordinary parents. Kind of a surprise gift to save us, although I don’t know how one man can save an entire people. I do believe that with God nothing is impossible if one has faith. An unexpected breeze suddenly blows and the crowd quiets their chatter and stands perfectly still. It must be that Jesus has arrived!
I stand and brush the dust from my worn cloak. I hear footsteps coming closer. They are not like the plodding sound of those on the move but gentle steps as of those on holy ground. It has to be Jesus’s steps that I hear. Mustering all of my courage I cry out, “Jesus, have mercy on me.” I hear a voice beside me: “Hush, you fool. Jesus has no time for the likes of you.” I reply, “I believe that Jesus will heal my blindness.” The guffaws ripple through the crowd surrounding me. “Jesus, have mercy on me,” cry again, even louder this time. A quiet comes over those gathered as I hear someone approach (me) on the right.
I feel Jesus’s presence next to me and feel his hand touch my arm. “What do you want me to do for you,” Jesus asks. I fall to my knees and bow my hear, “Please sir, let me see, ” I whisper. I hear what sounds like the soil at my feet being swirled around. Jesus anoints my eyes with this clay and tells me to wash in the pool of Siloam. I am practically carried to the pool by the throng of people who want to see if Jesus can truly restore sight to my blind eyes.
At the pool I kneel down and scoop up handfuls of water and rub the clay from my eyes. My closed eyes open to see the feet of Jesus in dusty sandals and the hem of his tunic red with the dust of this dry land. He holds out his hand for me to take and I rise until I am face-to-face with my healer. A peaceful, smiling face greets me with eyes that seem to see into my very soul. “Your faith has healed you,” he says. My praise bubbles up spontaneously and I give glory and praise to God. Jesus, son of David, has restored my sight with a miracle. Let those who were unbelieving now believe!
I WENT: I went to Jesus and let him touch my heart.
I WASHED: I washed in his love for me.
I SAW: I saw that Jesus is sending me to love others.
Jesus has the power to give us a sign today when we are blind. We are challenged to accept the invitation God is offering. That invitation leads to a relationship with God and changes our relationships with each other. SSJ Associate Marti Michael