John 9 tells us that as Jesus went along, He saw a man blind from birth. He spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” He told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
It occurred to me as I read this recently that the process of having our eyes opened isn’t necessarily a pleasant one.
Like when you have the opportunity of a lifetime, and you escape the snow on the ground and more snow coming at home and manage to get yourself to a Caribbean island.
And since you had to leave a day earlier than planned, you spend the night in the city.
And you encounter poverty there.
You see it in the neighborhoods packed with homes that are little more than sheds. And those are the lucky ones.
You see it in the rundown…everything.
And just maybe when you head to your posh resort, the poverty you encountered in the city will prevent the rest of your vacation from being as carefree as it could’ve been before.
Before your eyes were opened.
But you also realize that had you continued on your merry, blind way, you would’ve missed out on…seeing.
You would’ve missed out on seeing the pure joy shining on brown faces accented with white smiles.
You would’ve missed out on seeing the kindness of people who are willing to serve happily. Who are grateful for so much less than what you have.
You would’ve missed out on seeing the faith of a bus driver who gestures wildly while singing off key, “Lord, give me strength to face another day.”
You also would’ve missed out on seeing right before your newly opened eyes that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. (Mark 12:15)
And just maybe you would’ve missed out on seeing how very much you take for granted.
It’s one thing to hear these things, after all. It’s quite another to see them.
Sometimes a cure for blindness involves dirt in your eyes and maybe a little spit.
But I have a feeling that blind-now-seeing man would tell you that he wouldn’t have passed up having a muddy face for anything in the world.
Because although having your eyes opened isn’t usually pleasant…
it’s always worth it.