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The disciples saw a man blind from birth when they were walking with Jesus. The first thought that came to their minds was whose sin was it that caused this man born blind? Was it his sin or his parents’ sin? If that was the first thought the disciples had, then most people would have had the same thought when they saw this man. Then this man must also have had this question about himself all his life. Why was I born with this stigma? What is wrong with me? Instead of thinking that I am precious and beloved, he must have felt very bad and sinful about himself.
Whenever we face difficulties in life, we ask ourselves, why me? Why do these things happen to me? What did I do wrong? We all live with some kind of guilt. We have darkness within us. We live feeling our own shortcomings and weaknesses. And when we face difficult situations, all these negative things about ourselves rise to the surface and we have no choice but to confront them. Confronting negative things about ourselves is not a bad thing. This Covid-19 revealed our fear, our limits, our selfishness, and our emptiness. To social distance, we stay home all day and we have more opportunities to think about our life and ourselves. We have had no choice but to stop our busy schedules. We thought that life would always turn out as we planned but we have realized that that is not true. Our naive thinking that we can control our lives as we want and as we wish, was shattered. The reality is that our life can be stopped and disrupted any time without any warning. Many people have experienced the fragility of their lives in the fact that their business and jobs can go down the drain just like that.
Exposing the things we take for granted
We can just waste our time doing nothing at home and giving no thought to our life but I hope that we can take this opportunity to really think about our life again. It is a great opportunity to be able to think about what is really important in life, what is most precious to us, and where God is in our lives. We realize how many things we have taken for granted. Spending time with friends and family is a simple thing to do but we cannot do it now. We realize how precious those things are. We took for granted things that are so important and precious. Even though those things are so very simple, we can no longer do them and we realize how much we have taken for granted in life.
Let me share what our congregation members said. One person said: “We have an opportunity to look deep, to unearth fears, hopes, regrets and grief. We can look deep to see what we feel, what we hope and how we can make our lives more faithful to God and to ourselves. Maybe we will learn something in the midst of this “downtime”. Another said: “Crazy times indeed. In a weird way, outside of all the turmoil and uncertainty, there is a “blessing inside this curse.” I think this time allows us to really reevaluate what is important and meaningful in this world and drives home the points that we discussed during the YF retreat.” Another said: “While it’s easy to get lost in worry and feel isolated from the world, we are fortunate that we have a community that brings people together to reflect and pray.”
God’s work in our lives
The disciples asked whose sin it was for him to be born blind and others also asked the same question, and the man also might have lived with that question in mind all his life. But Jesus’ answer was so refreshing; Jesus said, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.” (John 9:3) Jesus didn’t see his sin but saw what God was doing in this man’s life.
This crisis reveals not only our shortcomings and our fears but also what God is doing in our lives. I pray that this crisis brings us closer to God. That our eyes will be open and see what God is doing in our lives. We will see how precious life is. We will see how valuable life is. We will see how important it is for us to be more kind to each other, to be more thankful, and to appreciate the more simple things in life.
This man was healed not only physically but spiritually. Not only did his physical eyes become open but the eyes of his heart became open. If you have time read all of John chapter 9. You will see the progress of his change. You will see his courage. After he was healed he was able to live with courage. He overcame his fear and now he was filled with courage. Open your eyes and live with courage.