August 7: Seeing is _______

The past day and a half most of our staff participated in a retreat. We’ve had a number of staffing changes, so for several staff persons, it was their first time to be together with the rest of our staff. We had a good and meaningful time of building relationships and looking at our primary mission. As I read today’s scripture, I also reflected on how a group of people can look at the same thing and see very different things. I’ve read whenever there are eyewitnesses to an event or a crime, the eyewitnesses can see the same thing at the same time and report details so different that it would be hard to believe the eyewitnesses had been at the same place. What do we see?

In John 9, what do we see? The story introduces a man born blind. When Jesus sees the man, Jesus tells all who are listening that “the works of God might be displayed.” I’m paying attention now, because I too want to see the works of God. This is a blind man. Everyone knew he was blind. He had always been blind. So when Jesus heals his blindness, we are supposed to see that Jesus is the light of the world. But that’s not what everybody saw. The Jewish leaders saw some kind of scam. They knew Jesus could not be the light of the world. Either the man had not been blind or he must have been in cahoots with Jesus. By the end of the story, it seems a blind man could see what seeing people could not. And the most blind of all were those who were certain about what they were seeing.

It causes me to be just a little bit more cautious – and humble. I don’t always see what I think I see. Sometimes I even see what no one else has seen. What’s the point of the story from John 9? I think Jesus wants us to see! Being a Christian is often confusing. People are constantly telling us what we see and don’t see. Like the man in this story, there is one thing I know for certain: “I was blind but now I see!”

Then I recall Zephaniah 2:3 – “Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land… Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD’s anger.” Could humility be the means by which Jesus gives me the ability to see? As I read and reflect and listen for God’s Word, what I’m seeing for my life today is “Seeing is humility.” What do you see?

Today’s readings: Zephaniah 1-3; John 9

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