He took him. He took him by the hand. But it wasn’t enough.
What were they looking for? What did they expect? These friends that believed so deeply that things could change, that things could get better. They dragged him forward, out of the masses and into the spotlight of specificity.
I don’t think he was so certain. Blindness brings more than a little suffering to one’s life. Surely he had already expended great effort, searching for a cure, searching for a way back to normal. Whispers and rumors of pools and angels and chances to get better circled the region often enough. No… He’s not so certain…
I get that. Who doesn’t get that? There are a rare few in the world, optimistic enough not to be worn out by life around them, naïve enough to hope. But we enlightened ones know better than to hope. There is no magic left in this world.
God, have mercy on souls like ours. Have mercy in the form of those optimistic ones. By their naivety we are saved.
“Blind man, come with me,” the Healer says. “Let’s go for a walk.”
Did they talk with one another? Did they find a bench outside the city walls and get to know each other? Did Jesus see that this guy had given up?
“How does this work?” he says timidly.
“Hold still. Let me see your face.”
Lids to lifeless eyes held open, the Healer spits. They say he can speak a word and raise the dead. But does he do that? No, he spits and touches.
“Do you see now?”
All the hopes and fears of decades of pain come together in the movement of an eyelid, cresting in expectation, cascading in disappointment. Do I see? Yes. No. Everything is all fuzzy, but it’s the most beautiful fuzz I’ve seen for years.
Maybe this is all there is. Maybe this is the best the Healer could do… fuzzy shapes, presumably people, moving around like trees. Why would I expect more? I know better than to hope… but maybe, …what if there was more?
As if he was waiting for this, Jesus presses his palms against my brow, touching my eyes ever so lightly. In the second touch something changed, not partly, but fully.
A thousand questions condensed into three unanswerable letters: Why?
I don’t get it, nor do I believe I’d be ready to hear the answer given me. I don’t understand the movements of the Healer. I don’t see the sense in process, nor do I easily accept it’s hold on reality. But I do know it’s awfully easy to settle for something less than wholeness.
Who could dare to hope for more than people moving like trees?
But maybe I’m not the only one asking questions in this story.
“Do you see now?”