John 9 tells the story of the healing of a blind man. Usually, when discussing this story the focus is on the topic of why the man was born blind.
Instead, I want to look at how the blind man was healed.
The story says that Jesus spits on the ground, makes some clay, rubs the clay in the eyes of the blind man, then tells him to go wash. What? Why did Jesus decide to heal that way? He could have spoken the word and the man’s eyesight would have been restored, but instead He chooses another way.
And it is this other way that really speaks to me. Oh, friend, it speaks to me for so many reasons. I want to share those with you in the hopes that it touches you like it did me.
Jesus chose to heal with something common. Dirt mixed with spit. Dirt is everywhere. It is so prevalent in the world that we don’t even pay attention to it. Yet, this is what Jesus used.
Then, as he mixes the dirt with the spit and creates clay, He puts it in the eyes of the man. I imagine this was painful. Getting it all washed out in the river probably took some effort.
You know, the truth is that we all have blindness in our life. We all have things that keep us from really seeing. The blindness keeps us from seeing our worth, our purpose, our mission, our faults, and at times, from seeing the truth in God’s word.
But I love how Jesus heals the blindness. He reaches into the dirtiness. He isn’t afraid to get dirty. And, although the clay created pain, it was worth it in the end because the man’s sight was restored.
In our life, when dealing with blindness, sometimes the healing comes through pain. Jesus isn’t afraid to reach into our mess, our dirt. But when He chooses to heal us, to help us work through our messes, sometimes it comes through a painful process. And at times it feels like the pain and dirt will never be fully washed away.
And then we are on the other side, when the pain and dirt are removed, we are left with clear sight. And when our sight is clear, others realize it. They recognize the change, too.
And when they ask questions about the change, you can reply as the blind man did. “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
We don’t have to accept the blindness. We just need to be willing to seek the healing and accept the pain that might accompany it.