Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: First (as in original) (01/10/05)
TITLE: I See
By Debbie OConnor
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It’s dusty. He chokes on the dirt kicked up as people and animals pass him on the way into town.
It’s loud. A typical day of business at the city gates. People talking, shouting, laughing. Animals braying and clomping. Children playing. The noise blends into meaninglessness. He tries not to hear, but it overwhelms him.
And the smells. Dirt, sweat, food, dung.
He is a beggar. An outcast. Cursed by God from birth for some unknown sin. Still, in his heart he wonders, doubts. Was it his fault, his parents? Did God foresee some evil he would do if he had sight?
That was what the religious leaders taught. Blindness was a consequence of sin.
Suddenly things came into focus as people stopped in front of him. He heard one of them ask, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Great, he thought. Another religious leader here to pass judgment.
Then he heard another say, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
What was that? he thought. The work of God displayed in my life? Crazy! How is begging at the side of a road displaying God’s work?
Who is this man? he wondered. He thought he heard someone call him “Jesus.”
Moments later something cold and sticky was rubbed on his eyes - mud, he could tell by the smell. He pushed the hands that gently applied it away, not understanding.
Then he heard the man say, “Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam.”
He went. He didn’t know why, but he was compelled to obey that voice and he had to get the mud off of his eyes. Another beggar helped him find the way.
He knelt by the pool and cupped the water in his hands. It was cold. He splashed it into his eyes and rubbed. When they felt clean he opened them.
An explosion of light, color, and detail overwhelmed him. It was too much to understand at once. Everything was so beautiful, so rich, and so much more than he had ever imagined. Joy, strength, hope and gratitude surged through him like lightening. He screamed. He laughed. He grabbed his friend and danced. He jumped into the pool and splashed like a child. He could see!
I was born blind too. Not physically blind, but spiritually blind. I groped my way through life, desperately trying to earn the recognition and approval of others. Always putting on a show of being happy, together, responsible and wise. Sometimes I convinced other people, but I knew the truth. I had no direction, no answers and no reason to live.
I wasn’t raised a Christian. I had some knowledge of Christ, but we were not faithful churchgoers and my knowledge of the Bible was very limited. I knew lots of Christians and always found that they seemed to have the direction and integrity I knew I lacked. I thought it was because they were raised in church. I believed it was too late for me, because I didn’t have a religious heritage.
I will never forget the way I felt the day I met Christ. It wasn’t a religious heritage I lacked. I learned that God is real, that He isn’t too far away for me to know. He wants me to know Him. He loves me! He has plans for my life that I can know and live out. I went from hopeless, to hopeful in the course of two hours as I heard the gospel explained in a simple way. I had direction, answers and a reason to live. It was too much to understand at once. Everything was so beautiful, so rich, and so much more than I had ever imagined. Joy, strength, hope and gratitude surged through me like lightening.
A decade later Jesus is still my reason for living. He is my strength, my hope, my shelter and my provider. I walk in peace and security in a world that knows none because -- I see.
Story based on John 9 (NIV)
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