Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A Little Mud
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. John 9:1-12; John 9:35-38
Most creativity and new ideas demands some sort of mess. Being left handed I have been good at taking things apart since I was a toddler. I like to see how things work but it means making a mess sometimes and occasionally it means having leftover bits that should have had an original location. Real creativity and ingenuity are messy processes, with many starting over times, many missteps and some real flubs. Many of us have set aside our childhood curiosity for the order of adulthood. Chaos was the beginning of creation and there are some very curious and odd creatures of God's perfect creation. And all of them are wondrous in the sight of God.
Jesus healed a blind man by spitting and making mud. Maybe he was learning how to heal, experimenting to find his right tools, and maybe something tactile was needed for a man to know change was coming. Jesus was new to his craft and learning as he went along, we have to assume, since he was human, just like us and in so being, a beloved and unique creature of the Creator. This story from the gospel teaches us about the interdependence between God and creation and about the importance of us participating in our healing. The man was sent to wash after Jesus applied the spit and the mud. Our faith is activated within us as we act in faith.
Today I ask God to help me walk in faith, despite the messiness and challenges I might face. Help us to know that all of creation participates with the Creator and God wants for us to be active in the healing of the world. May we not be afraid as we step out today trusting that each step deepens our faith, each step bring us closer to God.