April 1, 2017

Here's to Mud in Our Eyes


File this one under Understanding Stuff a Week After it Happens.

At first glance, last Sunday’s sermon about the story of Jesus healing a blind man in an unconventional way (as if there’s a conventional way to restore sight) was about a miracle...and mud.

But I think there’s more to this miraculous story that speaks to everyone, regardless of belief in the story or faith, or no faith at all.

If you’re unfamiliar, here it is:
Blind Guy is poor, looked down upon by everyone. The Bible doesn’t even say his name – he’s just BLIND GUY. Anyway, Blind Guy is disenfranchised because somehow, someway society back then believed his blindness was probably deserved for something his parents did or something he did. (Some things never change: how are the poor, refugee, immigrant and ‘other’ viewed today?)
Enough editorializing. I’ll go on.
Anyway, Blind Guy is so desperate and without dignity, he’ll ask anyone for help – including Jesus, Who in turn spits on the ground, mixes up a mud pie, and puts it on the guy’s eyes. Nice. Blind Guy is okay with mud IN HIS EYES.
Then Jesus tells the guy to go wash off Eye Mud Pie in a specific pond. Really? Somehow, Blind Guy stumbles his way to the pond, washes Eye Mud Pie off, and viola, he can see.
I can see, y'all!

Back to last Sunday.

While pastor was talking about the symbolism of Jesus using mud, I was sitting there wholly identifying with Blind Guy and thinking holycrap (no pun intended): would I have been okay with that? Like, from hearing Someone spitting, to Eye Mud Pie ON MY FACE and being told to walk with said Eye Mud Pie through the village, past everyone who thinks I’m ‘less-than’ whilst they make fun of me, to finding a specific pond when all I wanted was sight?

No thank you, Sir. I'll happily stay in the dark, please.
And I couldn’t shake the thought of it all week. If Blind Guy had said No, I’m not about all that; he would’ve been in the dark till his dying day.

That's when it dawned on me: the healing was on Jesus -- ALL Jesus; but the Eye Mud Pie path to healing? That was on Blind Guy and his willingness to walk that muddy, embarrassing path.

Then, I preached my own sermon to myself. How often have I said a loud NOPE and put the brakes on in potentially crazy situations when those potentially crazy situations were (unbeknownst to me) temporary and might’ve been the way out and into clarity? Yikes.

Even in the current political climate, no matter on what side of the fence you sit, you gotta admit that this is a crazy, unbelievable time. What if the way out of it is to actually go through it? Nudge each other and reassure each other, yes. Tell each other that No, we aren’t crazy – we heard the same word salad, and we’ll call out future word salads along the way.

But maybe, just maybe this muddy, embarrassing path might be the path that gets us all out of the darkness and into the light again.

So, cheers everybody. Let's all raise a glass to mud in our eyes. I have a feeling we're gonna need it.

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