Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Works of God

There are ramifications to experience the works of God. This was not a solitary action. This began over thirty years prior when his parents experienced joy with the news of an oncoming child. What hope they experienced. What excited anticipation and dreams they must have enjoyed. And then, when the news, “It’s a male child” came. How they must have praised God for blessing them as such and possibly the first born, an extra blessing from the hand of God. The pride that this father felt welling up within was almost too much to bear. The men in his circle could hear the sense of satisfaction in the tone of his voice as he told them he had a son.

It wasn’t long as the babe grew the parents began to notice something wasn’t right. The mother noticed first and worriedly told her husband. He shrugged it off saying that all would be well. After all, this child is a blessing from the Lord. But time is not dishonest and the inevitable would have to be accepted. The grief these young parents experienced is beyond words. Their shattered dreams were all about them as shards of broken glass that tormented their every step. Others looked at them differently. Most didn’t speak directly to them but they overheard some in the market place as they began their theological discussion of who sinned. And they knew it was because they were there which prompted such thoughts and old debates. What did they tell themselves? Surely they blamed themselves and secretly each other. What was the final conclusion in their mind? Whatever it was it must have included that they had failed.

They learned to look at life differently, through the eyes of fear and skepticism. Years of training their thoughts to reason by fear took its toll. They gave that to their son. So now some thirty years later he barely raises his voice in hopes some passer by might have pity on him. He never suspected he was being watched by anyone.

For over 30 years he knew nothing but darkness. He had no concept of light or beauty. His staff was his eyes and at times he would craw and grope until he found his place. He had no hope save that extended by a compassionate hand. He was totally dependant on others for life – without them he would die. Fear was a constant companion, his closest friend. It was a dear family friend. His parents introduced him to fear for they knew him all their lives. His hopeless existence was shrouded in loneliness and aloneness. Not many will stop and converse with a beggar; and a blind one, steeped in sin, none would. This man was subhuman – malnourished, poor, alone, ridiculed. Not even dogs would stop and lick his wounded hands and knees. There was no hope for this man . . . until He passed by and noticed.

They were walking along the busy, crowed Jerusalem streets. The disciples tried to catch Jesus’ every word. They noticed Him stop at the gate. What was he looking at so intently? Ah, a blind man. But why was He looking at him? They ask, “Who sinned,” seeking answers to an age old theological debate? They looked and saw a theological equation. Jesus looked and filled with compassion saw a man. Others would see an animal but Jesus saw the value in this human.

Jesus wasn’t much into debating questions that mattered little in the scheme of life. He only looked to see the truth in a man’s pitiful situation. He must have sensed the Spirit’s prompting to notice. As Moses heard God say centuries before that the cries of His people has come before Him. Now Jesus hears the secret, silent cries of one born under the covenant and answers.

What radical change was in store for this man. A subhuman stood before Him as He made clay and gently applied it to the man’s eyes. The man was sent stumbling, groping along searching for the pool of Siloam. So what did he see? As he washed the mud out of his eyes, what did he see? Did he see his ruddy reflection in the pool? Did he pause, taken back by first sight and first light? Did he squint and close his eyes, retracting into familiar darkness? Did mud stained tears run down his cheeks? He went away blind and came back seeing. Others had difficulty recognizing him. He looked different – a transformation of body and spirit. He came back a new person.

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