There have been some recent studies and articles concerning the difficulties that blind people have when recovering their sight. Living for a long time without being able to visually see allows blind people to adapt in such a way that seeing again is not always the blessing it would seem to be. Recovery of sight means new adapting, and that newness can be frightening and paralyzing.
We are praying this week with Jesus giving physical sight to two different people and a different kind of sight to his disciples. This new sight for them is traumatic as any recovery of physical sight might be.
We have been receiving, or recovering, sight these past weeks of watching and listening to the Christ of God. The more intimately we allow him to be with us, the more tensions can arise. Attraction and resistance struggle within us, as with his earliest followers. There are implications to his getting into our hearts and lives, as there were with those whom he first called. He makes it very clear that if we really see him, then we will also see ourselves. This awareness can lead to self-cancellation or self-acceptance in him. We have prayed with these familiar tensions these past weeks. Now Jesus ups the ante. What are we to do with this accepted self? As they moved closer to the place of his final destiny and dignity, the disciples were more inclined to take the Jerusalem bypass and not go into the city traffic of treachery and betrayal. Jesus has totally accepted himself as the Christ and he hears the call to lay down his life as a gift from his Father. He has made it clear to his followers that their self-donation is the ultimate way of following and extending him and his mission.
So recovery of sight for the disciples and for ourselves, while it is a blessing, takes some deeper recovery time. Following Jesus into our own Jerusalems of fidelity causes us to question. All our questions of “What?” and “How?” echo the worries of his first questioning friends. The closer we allow him to come, the more we might wonder where the bypass is for us. We pray this week with him and his frail flock. We are there with them and with our truth. Do we want clear sight, recovery of vision, to stay faithful in following him? We pray for the freedom from and the freedom for, and there is much of both for which to pray this week.
Is there still a call out there and in there?