I was laughing with my friend Joan yesterday as we prepared to travel together. We are going on Kathy Trocolli’s Among Friends cruise in just a few days! (I know, I know, poor me. If you can’t come, I am speaking on another cruise in October – check it out maybe you can join me on that one!)
Anyway as we were going over details, Joan said “I promise not to get you stuck in a revolving door on this trip!”
Yes, Joan and I were going through or at least attempting to go through, a revolving door once in a mall in Tulsa when Joan panicked. “How do we get through this? How do we get out of this?!” She didn’t think to ask those questions until our second rotation. Once she and I were in, she wasn’t quite sure how to get me (being blind) and her (being blonde), out of the door at the same time!
We obviously made it out and so I thought I would share with you how that miracle occurred.
On our trip to China, we visited the mainland; Beijing and Dalian to be exact. We encountered many wonderful things there, but, honestly, it is pretty hard to get around. Even if you can see! So, that’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when we left mainland China and visited Hong Kong. It was so easy to navigate. Especially when you can’t see!
Well, as I write this I am eating some dark chocolate and sipping some cinnamon tea because that is what I do when I need to regroup emotionally. Why, you might ask, am I needing to regroup emotionally? Let me set the stage…
I am alone in my kitchen. I am listening to an instrumental collection of songs entitled “Peace”. I am humming along to Chris Rice playing “Like a River Glorious.” I am totally, thoroughly, completely soaking in the moment; quiet house, peaceful thoughts and the fragrance of cinnamon tea brewing. While the tea is brewing and my thoughts are hovering somewhere above planet earth, I walk out of my kitchen to get my favorite tea cup from the dining room. I walk directly into my kitchen wall.
I think for centuries, the “blind man from Bethsaida” has been misrepresented. He is not actually the “blind man from Bethsaida,” he is actually the “formerly blind man, now sighted man from Bethsaida!” I love that. It should remind me; remind all of us, that our past does not define us. It impacts who we are, but it does not define us. Jesus’ touch on our lives is what defines us.
The blind man could have sung the line from Amazing Grace with conviction and celebration: “T’was blind but now I see!”
His healing wasn’t instant but it was complete. But, between the first touch of Jesus and the final touch, there was the awkward in-between place; not totally blind, but not totally healed.
Recap of Mark 8:22-23: Jesus was filled with compassion when He encountered the blind man. He led the blind man outside the village. Once outside the village, Jesus put His hands on the blind mans eyes.
“Do you see anything?” Jesus asked after the blind man’s eyes opened. Jesus asked a question for which He knew the answer. So why did He ask?
My eyes well up when I see this picture in my mind’s eye. Jesus took the blind man by the hand.
Jesus could have instructed His disciples to lead the man. Jesus could have nodded at the person who brought the blind man as a signal to continue to lead him out of the crowd. But, Jesus Himself took the blind man by the hand.
Wanna go to Bethsaida with me? There is someone there I want to observe and learn from. He is blind. So, for the next few blogs, I am just going to read his story and meditate upon what he is telling me from centuries past. It’ll be kinda like thinking out loud. So I want to know your thoughts, too.
I invite you to come with me and give your observations too! Let’s learn from each other.
My friend Bill was helping me with some computer training when that nagging “update” message showed up. So, while we waited, we chatted. He mentioned how dealing with computers requires patience and being blind and dealing with computers require even more!
Because he’d done computer training for lots of blind people for many years, He told me how he’d observed that each one deals with lots of frustration and it isn’t just because of computers; it’s because of the maddening trappings of blindness.
I asked Bill if he could summarize their frustration. His response was quick and I must say, accurate.