He swings his arms as he walks, chuckling over the simple pleasure of putting one foot after the other without groping for a wall. No more creeping, shuffling, inching forward, feeling for pitfalls! He strolls down the road outside Jerusalem, breathing the spring-scented air and seeing. Seeing everything. It’s hard to decide which is more delightful, striding along boldly, or stopping to soak in every wonder on the way. There’s a bird in that tree. Simple words—bird, tree—sing with new meaning now…there are kinds of trees, sorts of birds. Shapes and textures and colors dance around him. Colors. They make his eyes smart, but he welcomes the pain, opening wider, willing his eyes to swallow more and more sights. He is hungry for things he has no words to name.
Finally, exhausted, he plops down under a shade tree. He plucks a leaf from a long-hanging branch and simply stares. “Lord, You have made the world very good indeed! And in Your goodness You have allowed me to see it at last. Forgive me for not appreciating it more when I could not see it. My hands and ears showed me so much…I was not deprived, truly. But now! Oh how I praise You! How can I ever thank You?”
Footsteps behind him. He can’t help looking up–compelled to see the source of every sound that tickles his ears. A man approaches, smiling. He sits next to him on the grass.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” he can’t help asking. Does everyone notice what’s around them? Will I grow jaded and indifferent to all this someday? Lord, I hope not!
“What is beautiful?” asks the stranger. His voice is mild, friendly, interested.
“Everything!” He looks into the man’s eyes, hoping to see understanding. Yes. They sparkle with the same delight he’s feeling. He laughs aloud. “Everything is beautiful!” he sighs again. He gazes around. “How I wish I could thank him,” he murmurs.
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“What?” What does that have to do with…? Wait. I’ve heard that phrase. Sitting with my father…in the synagogue… the Son of Man is the title for…some prophet, yes? And more than a prophet. Lord God, where have I heard that phrase?
Like a breeze blowing through his mind, he hears the whispered words he’s been trying to place:
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
The prophet…Daniel, perhaps? But who is the Son of Man? He must be Messiah.
“Who is the Son of Man, sir? Where is he? Please tell me–I want to believe in him.” He turns again to the stranger with the sparkling eyes, feeling there is something vital here, something he has to know.
“You have heard of Him, and heard His voice before. But now…you can see Him. He is the One speaking to you now.”
Of course! That voice! He has an instant sense of strong hands, gentle fingers touching his eyes, a commanding voice telling him to go and wash. Why didn’t I recognize Him sooner?
He opens his mouth to speak and finds the words caught in a breathless sob. He leans forward, thinking to stand up in order to fill his lungs for speech. He can thank Him now! He’s on his knees, but the stranger has already risen, in one smooth motion, and holds out His hand to help him up.
He grasps the healing hand and lifts his face. Speech comes without effort. “Lord, I believe!” The afternoon sun creates an aureole around the Healer’s head and dazzles his still-new eyes to tears again. His mind still full of that lighted face, he bows his body to the ground. The Son of Man. Him I can worship here–or anywhere. He has no words for thanks, but none are needed now. This Man who gave him sight can see into his heart.