As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed 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.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.” John 9:1-17
Our human frailties, both our hidden and obvious weaknesses, we fear so much and they can isolate us. I know too well my own faults and brokenness and often struggle to find God in the midst of pain. I can very quickly fault myself and others for that pain. The exercise gurus tell you to keep going through the pain. But can this pain, this weakness, this frailty be a venue for the love of God revealed? Can this be an opportunity rather than an sorry end?
Jesus heals a blind man on the sabbath. His disciples want to know whose fault this blindness is ans the Pharisees want to discount the healing since it was the sabbath. We humans love to blame and discount the gifts of others. Yet Jesus would have us focus on the hope for healing. That our messy human souls and bodies, broken and messy, are wanted by God. God wants to use even our profound weaknesses to show the world divine love. We are asked to participate, as the blind man was asked to wash in the pool. God's desire is for our humanity to be the reflection of perfect, divine love.
Today I ask God to help me not fear the weakness and the pain but offer myself again to God's possibilities. May we all embrace our challenges, not as punishment, but as God's visible presence, God's love made real despite our messy humanity.