Seeing people like trees, walking: Mark 8:24

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After what seemed like a lifetime, finally I had cataract surgery in my left eye this last Thursday. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks when my right eye will also undergo the same procedure. I had waited for a long time for this surgery from the time I was informed I had cataracts in both eyes.

During this long time of waiting I was often frustrated because I could not recognize people twenty or so yards away. Sometimes, walking down the street, I would hear someone call my name, and unless I recognized the person’s voice – which often was not the case – I could not know who the person was. Indeed, if there was just a small group of people, all I could see was figures, silhouettes of people but I would not be able to identify them. Like the blind man in this story, I was seeing people, like trees walking.

Almost immediately after the surgery, I could even see colors on my computer screen, no longer simply black. I had gotten so used to my impaired eyesight I felt like it was just normal. For a long time I had not known that better world of vision.

Now, like the blind man in this story who was touched by Jesus, I can see everything clearly. I can hardly contain my elation. I have been telling this story over and over because I know the difference between then and now. I can even advise anyone who has been putting off having the procedure done to go ahead and do it now. You will like what you see.

But there is a higher dimension to this story. Jesus’ touch does restore not only visual but spiritual sight as well. After he has touched us, we can say, now we see clearly. Now we will be able to discern and to have insight, as well as foresight. We are not seeing things as mere images or shadows anymore.

Not only that, we have confidence in the healing power of Jesus. We can testify, even to those who are skeptical or dismissive. Think of that man born blind and healed by Jesus in the Gospel of John, chapter 9. People discounted his testimony, even labeling him and hurling insults at him, but he refused to be defined by others, because he knew, he had no doubts about what Jesus had done to him.

Being able to see clearly, after Jesus’ touch, is the most joyous experience of this life.

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