He just couldn’t stop grinning. He touched her cheek again and tears washed his eyes and made her blurry but still beautiful. Mother. What an amazing gift, to see that face smiling at me. He was fascinated by the subtle changes that passed over it, the eyes, the brows, the mouth moving ever so little but speaking a language he was racing to learn to read. A slight pinching in of her mouth now, narrowing of her eyes as she looked past him…she looks–worried?
“Of course this is our son,” she said to the Pharisee, in a voice straining to stay respectful. “And yes, he was blind from his birth…do you think we’re in any doubt?”
“What we don’t know is how this miracle happened. I wish we had been there, I wish we could thank the man of God who touched him…but look at him! He can see. What else matters?” His father, ever calm and reasonable (I know that patient voice), spoke mildly. “In any case, this is a grown man standing here. You are welcome to ask him for details. I’m sure he’ll tell you everything he knows.” he added with a smile of encouragement on his son. Sigh. Who could ever tire of that proud fatherly smile?
“What matters is truth,” snarled another priest. “We know the man who did this, and he is a sinner. If God has indeed been merciful to you, then give Him the glory–no one else.”
He shrugged his shoulders, turning to look at the man in the fine robes. “If he’s a sinner, I don’t know it. Maybe he is, maybe not. All I know is, I was blind…” In spite of himself, he reached out for the beautiful shiny tassels on the priest’s robe. His finger flicked it so it swung a bit, catching light on some of its threads. “…but now I can see,” he murmured. Colors, shapes, what an amazing world I’ve been missing.
Indignantly, the Pharisee slapped his hand away. “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
“I’ve told you already…weren’t you listening?” he said quietly. It’s hard to listen sometimes, when there is such a lot to look at… A new thought strikes him–oh! he should have realized. “I’m sorry, shall I tell you again? Perhaps you want to become his disciples?”
The brows drawn brows together, the down-turned mouth told him instinctively that he had said the wrong thing. “You can go and be his disciple if you want! We are disciples of Moses. God Himself spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.” Several of the Pharisees sniffed scornfully or snickered behind their hands as they muttered to each other.
He didn’t stop to think of what to say, or whether to be silent. “That is remarkable, don’t you think? You don’t know where he comes from, but he opened my eyes. Who ever heard of anyone opening the eyes of one born blind? God listens to a godly man who does His will..surely this man must be from God, or how could he have healed me?”
“You at least are a sinner, from your birth–that much is clear!” one snapped at him. “How dare you lecture us?” The beautiful arms seized him roughly, and half pushed, half carried him out of the temple court. “Get out of here–you are not welcome in the house of God!”
I never have been welcome here, have I? Blind, deaf, lame…we are excluded from worship, imperfect, unworthy. I had hoped…Lord, is there somewhere I can worship You? Footsteps behind him…hers. He realized he’d long ago learned to know by hearing. He drank in her gentle smile, the lines around her eyes and mouth crinkling when she looked at him. Can I worship You, Lord, by just looking…at everything? Parents, pillars, trees and sky? Paving stones, water in a pool…it’s all so wonderful, such a gift. I want to thank someone…those men were right that I should give You glory. Is that enough?
He looks into his mother’s eyes again, and thinks that, for now, it is enough.