When I was a toddler, I had a proclivity for doing dumb things. I was always getting into things I shouldn’t, touching things I shouldn’t, and climbing on and around things I shouldn’t.
One day I had managed to get my little hands on a fork. I imagine my little mind looking around at what I could bang it on or stick it in when my little toddler eyes saw the most magical thing across the room: an outlet.
Looking down at the fork and up at the outlet and back down again, and back up at the outlet it must have become clear what I was supposed to do.
As I shuffled my way over to the outlet my parents sternly said “don’t you touch that outlet Mr. Man or you’ll regret it.”
Regret it? I don’t know what it will do, how can you ever regret finding out what something does??
The first time I stuck it in the outlet it didn’t make contact.
”That’s boring” my toddler mind must have thought…perhaps even tempted to move on to something more exciting.
One more time. Let’s just try one more time…
My mom and dad would tell me that story often when they realized I was being too darn stubborn, or perhaps dumb, to learn the first time. The day I blew myself back several feet sticking a fork in an outlet while my parents played canasta. I’m not sure if that’s a parenting fail or the best parenting ever… Did I ever have the desire to stick a fork in an outlet ever again? No.
Our scripture reading today is about a blind man a lot like me. Jesus gives him sight but can only see people as blurry object-sees them as walking trees. Jesus heals him a second time and he can see perfectly. Jesus doesn’t make mistakes. You see, we all respond differently to God’s grace and mercy.
It’s why the disciples would spend so much time with Jesus and still betray him, deny him, and doubt him. A few versus later in verse 18 the disciples are debating and Jesus rebukes them saying “18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?
Just because we have ears doesn’t mean we listen the first time (or even the second or third), just because we have eyes don’t mean we see the endless suffering all around us (we can become blind to the plight of others), and just because we live through difficult and powerful experiences doesn’t mean we will allow ourselves to remember what we need to remember.
Our faith journeys are unique-rarely are any two the same. Jesus simply says follow me and the rest is unique. My faith journey, not unlike the blind man regaining his sight, included times with a few steps forward and several steps back. Perhaps you have a similar experience; perhaps you don’t.
I pray this week that you find your eyes being reopened to the suffering of the world around us, that we are able to see the marginalized with new eyes given to us by Jesus. May we not see those vulnerable and marginalized persons with vagueness and indistinctness but with crystal clear sharpness.
In the great commissioning Jesus tells the disciples to be his witness all across the globe: at home and abroad. To be his witnesses in the places where people are just like them and in places where they look, act, and talk very differently. Jesus commands them to be his witness through loving them into relationship with him; to open the eyes of their hearts to Jesus. Scripture is filled with so many beautiful stories of “others” being loved into relationship with Jesus.
Like the blind man seeing for the first time, not once but twice, may we too begin to see each other and the world around us with new eyes.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
We are meeting at 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.
We will take July 28 through August 25 off. Stay tuned for our new study coming in September.
Join us on the Second Sunday of every month, with the exception of September, 2021, when our potluck will be on September 26 in conjunction with Church in the Park.
Military Appreciation Breakfast
Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:
Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciatoin for your service.
United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:
Third Thursday of every month: August 19, September 16, October 21, November 18
United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:
*Postponed Until Further Notice
Tuesday: 8-12 am
Wednesday: 8-11 am
Thursday: 8-11 am
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
Facebook: La Junta United Methodist Church
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