I’m thinking about changing the name of my blog to “She Cries Sometimes” or maybe just “She Cries A Lot”. I feel a need and a desire to start being more honest in my writing and more honest in my daily dealings. And if I’m being honest…she cries sometimes.
But the beautiful thing that is opening up to my heart and my eyes recently is this: Jesus doesn’t mind it. Our God isn’t turned off or away by tears. He cried them. He was anointed by a woman’s tears. Jesus is big enough to face my tears, and as His child, I am strong enough to cry them when I need to but then march back out and fight, fight, fight!
We’re not here to talk about that though. We are here, my friends, to talk about our story from John chapter 9. We’re here to talk about a blind man.
When we left him last, he was listening to a voice unlike any other voice discuss a light that could pierce the darkness. Then he heard a less holy, and possibly more familiar sound. It was the sound of someone spitting.
“Then Jesus spat on the ground and made some clay with his saliva. Then he anointed the blind man’s eyes with the clay. And he said to the blind man, “Now go and wash the clay from your eyes in the ritual pool of Siloam.” So he went and washed his face and as he came back, he could see for the first time in his life!”
John 9:6-7 TPT
I wonder if the man had heard this sound before, only to feel the other person’s saliva land squarely on his own face. I wonder what that person then had to say about someone born blind from birth. This was seen as a curse related to sin the blind man or his family committed. I wonder if our blind man winced when he heard it.
If he did, I know this: Jesus saw it.
But the spit didn’t land on the man’s face. However, something did go on his face in just a moment. A hand! Someone actually stooped low enough not only to see him but to reach out and touch his face. It wasn’t just a touch though. These hands smeared something thick and sticky across his eyes. Was that…mud?
I choose to believe at this point Jesus called the man by name. “Joshua. You need to go to the pool at Siloam and you need to wash the mud from your eyes.” The miracle then comes to life. Not at the pool…but at the feet of Jesus. Because at the feet of Jesus, this blind man had the faith to obey.
I’m not sure that I would. Here’s that honesty I’ve been talking about. I’m just not sure I would be strong enough or faith-filled enough to go wash my face in a pool because a man who smeared mud in my eyes told me to. This man had the faith, and he went, and he did it…”and as he came back, he could see for the first time in his life!”
As I’m writing that right now, something specific stands out to me. This phrase: “and as he came back”. Wait…it didn’t happen at the pool?
You’re telling me that this man who has been blind his whole life, had someone put spit-mud in his eyes, walked however far to a pool, washed said spit-mud out of his eyes…and nothing happened. We expect that instant change don’t we? That immediate healing or happiness when we do the hard thing. But sometimes…it doesn’t happen that way. Sometimes we walk away from the pool still blind, we walk away from the meeting still hurt, we walk away from the treatment with the cancer still in our body.
I believe God wanted to shift my perspective through this story and I believe He wants to shift yours. The healing wasn’t the miracle…that’s why it didn’t happen right away. The miracle was that Jesus saw. The miracle was that the blind man did it.
‘This caused quite a stir among the people of the neighborhood, for they noticed the blind beggar was now seeing! They began to say to one another, “Isn’t this the blind man who once sat and begged?” Some said, “No, it can’t be him!” Others said, “But it looks just like him—it has to be him!” All the while the man kept insisting, “I’m the man who was blind!”’
This. Caused. Quite. A. Stir.
Did the blind man not being blind anymore catch some people off guard? Funny.
Do you see how even now they still aren’t seeing the man? Look at these two verses: “the blind beggar was now seeing”, “isn’t this the blind man”, everything points to a community who saw a problem and not a person. Even his own response to their inquiries, “I’m the man who was blind!” But my favorite part of the story happens in the next couple of verses.
‘Finally, they asked him, “What has happened to you?” He replied, “I met the man named Jesus! He rubbed clay on my eyes and said, ‘Go to the pool named Siloam and wash.’ So I went and while I was washing the clay from my eyes I began to see for the very first time ever! ”’
I just hear this being exclaimed in a breathless rush! I wrote in the margin of my Bible, “He was SO excited!” I love it! This is how we should all react to our first encounter with Jesus (and every one after that actually).
This man was just so very excited about meeting Jesus and about everything Jesus did for him!
There are a few pitfalls we can fall into when we look at and attempt to interpret Scriptures. One of these is applying specific stories and prophecies to everything in life. For example, I don’t need to take this Scripture, go to a blind person, make some mud and assume they’re getting their sight back. It could happen…but this is a specific story about a specific person in a specific setting. However, Paul teaches us in 2 Timothy chapter 3 that all Scripture is useful for teaching. With that in mind, I believe there is a most important lesson to be used in this story of miracle mud.
The lesson is not that mud can make a miracle…the lesson is that the miracle can get through the mud. Oh, she ’bout to preach at the end of the blog post!!! This particular story is about a man who experienced miraculous healing through mud. However, the bigger picture here is that no matter what kind of mud you’ve got in your life…your miracle can still get through! I just turned thirty and all around me people are doing the same, most of them doing it with the caption “Thirty, flirty, and thriving!” Not me. I told a wonderful friend of mine last night that mine is “Thirty, dirty, and fighting…”. It’s true. But even that now has redemptive qualities because of this story. Yeah, I’m covered in mud, but you know what, I serve a God who doesn’t mind getting His hands dirty!!! He scooped up some dirt and made a man; He grabbed the red sea in all its salty, muddy, fishiness and held it back for Moses; He tore up some rocks to write the 10 Commandments on; He spent forty days in the desert; He spent forty YEARS in the desert; He made some spit-mud and gave a man sight, and you know what else…He went into the dirt and the depths of hell to die my death, fight my fight, and win my victory and then came busting out the ground to bring life to everybody! AIN’T NO MUD GONNA STOP MY GOD!!! That’s what I learn from this story. That’s what I learn from a blind man covered in mud dancing through the streets.
My God brings my miracle through whatever He has to, just to get it in my hands.
And if it’s got a little mud on it?
Let it be.