October 27, 2012
"He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, 'Can you see anything?'"
Reflection by Donna Schaper
Wouldn't you just love to know the tone of voice in Jesus' words to the blind man? Was he irritated, the way parents talk to teenagers who miss the meaning of the risk they just took? Was he gentle, the way a nurse would talk to a patient in recovery from surgery? Was he clinical, the way an eye doctor would be as she adjusted the lens machine?
I think Jesus was patient, almost amused. Patient because he knew eventually something would work to help the blind man to see. He just didn't know how much saliva it would take; he knew he had other methodologies. Amused because he was glad beyond glad that he had healing powers and that there was a way to restore sight.
My mother has had glaucoma for almost thirty years now. She is the most patient of patients with her eye drops and would not think of missing or mis-measuring one of them. She follows doctor's orders in a patient, amused, confident way. She is childlike in her obedience to the doctor's sight-giving drops. Because of this patient obedience, she keeps the pressure in her eyes constant and has not lost much sight.
Believe it or not, the reason Mrs. Astor gave our church in New York City the money to repair our gorgeous stained glass windows was a blinking bow tie. Yup. She came around to visit and look at the windows – and one of our more eccentric members was there that day wearing a bright red blinking bow tie. She was so amused that she opened her purse. Healing can come from eye drops, saliva, and fancy medical machinations – and from a patient, ready to be amused hope that we can be healed.
Do you want to be well? That was the question Jesus always asked as part of his healings. He knew all will be well. It is just a question of when.
O God, when we have lost hope and patience that we can be well, come to us with a lightness of spirit that answers yes to the weary world, yes, we want to be well. Amen.
About the Author
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Check out her blog, Grace at Table, at donnaschaper.com.
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