“6 When Jesus had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7 saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then the blind beggar went and washed and came back able to see. 8 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?’ 9 Some were saying, ‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like him.’ The beggar kept saying, ‘I am he.’” [John 9:6-9]
Have you ever said something to a group of people who just couldn’t understand what you had to say? It’s like your voice hits a blank wall and bounces back at you. The neighbors of the blind beggar just kept speculating, even though the man kept saying, “I am he.” Those around this man who once could not see, but now can couldn’t comprehend that this was the same man. The transformation just didn’t make sense. Yet, the tragedy is that the neighbors didn’t even stop to listen, to really listen to this man who was transformed by salvia, mud, and a washing in the pool of Siloam thanks to the healing presence of Jesus. I wonder how many people’s stories we have missed because we are too caught up in ours. We are too focused on seeing the world through our eyes only and so we shut out the possibility of another way of seeing. Imagine if the neighbors or Pharisees had just stopped and listened, being fully present to the man who wanted to share his healing story. May we have the will to stop and listen to the stories of others.
Healing God, you are at work in countless lives, yet I am almost always just focused on mine. My way of seeing is often all I know. It costs to stop and listen to another perspective, to hear another person’s story. Give me the courage to stop my internal dialogues and perceptions, so that I can really listen to the other. Amen.