Friday, August 7, 2009
Through a Glass Dimly
Last week, I was visiting my parents with the main goal to meet with the doctors to inquire of my mother’s health. The big question for all of us was, after 7 months of treatment, is she better? Is she healed?
The scripture readings at Olivet Church over the last several weeks have been of the miraculous healings by Jesus. In the gospel, it seemed like where ever sick people were found, if they met Jesus of Nazareth their illness was healed and their lives were forever changed. It is no wonder, then, as I sat in the office and the doctor gave us the news that her first treatment incomplete and that more treatment is needed - my mind went to Mark 8 – the two-part healing of the blind man.
In Mark 8, the man is healed gradually with the medicinal techniques of Jesus day. In that single story, I got reassurance that yes, there is hope for us when healing takes time. God’s healing grace is in treatments that like my mothers, are repeated again and again. Jesus, the great physician, did not always healed all at once.
On the trip home, my flight was delayed so I sat in the airport waiting out a rainstorm. The more I sat, the more discouraged I felt about my mother’s health. I sat thinking and looking out the huge, floor-to-ceiling window as the rain poured down. The landscape slowly slipped from view. The horizon of cypress trees and taxiing airplanes went from rather clear, but rainy picture… to a blurrier and blurrier sight as the rain came down in sheets. Pretty soon, I couldn’t see the slow moving planes at all. The only thing I could see was the droplets of rain racing across the glass window.
I returned to my bible and found Mark 8: 22-26 to read again the account of healing. (Jesus spits in the blind man’s eyes, asks the blind man if he can see. The blind man answers that he can see, but it’s really blurry. “People,” he says, “look like trees walking.” – Kind of like my partial blurred view out the window, I thought.) Jesus lays his hands on the man a second time and asks him to look upward. Then, his sight is made clear. This time, I noticed that in the story Jesus redirects the mans gaze upward the heavens. This spoke to me because I realized that for us who are in the process of healing and wholeness, the best place to fix our eyes, is upward. I looked out that window again, thinking, when the storms of life come I must not be discouraged by what I cannot see, but keep fixed on the hope of the unseen.
The view out our window on life, changes with the weather. When the storm pounds the glass – we can’t see like we used to. An illness or personal struggle can make us blurry-eyed, it can make us short-sighted. And certainly, our hope in those times is easily diminished.. but the bible says, in all of life, we never see perfectly, we always see through a window dimly.(1 Corinthians 13:12) We never have the full picture of what God is doing. One day, all will be revealed to us. And for us who love Christ, we are strengthen by this hope in Him.
It gave me strength that day, to consider that Jesus is still our healer. He is ever-with-us. He is bringing us to perfect sight over our long lives. It is by his grace that he takes me and you by the hand – just as he did the blind man and leads us.. If we keep our eyes, fixed on him, the unseen, we are sure to see more clearly over time.