There I was: a brand new, miniature version of a human being in the hands of the town midwife. The midwife wrapped me up in a blanket and gently handed me to my weary mother, who didn’t really seem to be bothered by my persistent, ear-piercing cries. Thinking back on it, I really didn’t have anything to cry about — I was in a warm blanket, safe in the arms of the one who literally just brought me into this world. But hey, I was two minutes old, and I had just been pushed and yanked out of the only world I knew. It was safe, quiet, and comfortable. After a while, though, my lungs started to get a little tired of crying, so I decided to turn it down
and take a look around the room. I’d never seen anything but darkness, so I figured I might as well start checking out this new world. But as I opened my tiny eyelids, I was really disappointed. The outside world looked just like the one I just came from! It was so dark, I couldn’t see anything. I heard my mom say that my eyes looked cloudy, and I wondered what was wrong with cloudy eyes.
You probably already know what’s wrong with cloudy eyes. From the time I was born, I could feel the warmth of the sun, I could taste the delicious food my mother prepared, I could smell the incense burning in the temple, and I could hear birds chirp in the sky. But I could never see any of those things.
As time went on, the people around me began to see my lack of this fifth sense as a weakness. I somehow became less of a human in their perfect eyes. I could feel my ribs crushing as they kicked me onto the side of the road, and I could taste the dirt in my mouth as the ground slammed into my face. I could smell the trash they would toss at me, judging that I was of the same value, and I could hear the new hateful nickname they gave me: Son of Filth.
Filth. Garbage. Waste. The kicks, dirt, and trash helped connect the dots to my new name, and eventually I came to believe that I truly must be a waste of a human life because I could not see. For the longest time, I simply sat by the edge of the road and begged for anything anyone might give me to survive.
My entire life changed one day when the road started to get really crowded. I could tell there was a crowd coming because I felt the ground shake more than usual, and there were more voices around me than I could count. I started asking what was going on, and someone said that Jesus the Nazarene was walking by.
As a blind beggar, you have the opportunity to hear a lot of gossip that passes by on the street. I don’t ever have full conversations, but I can piece together news as it walks by. And recently, all the talks have centered around this Nazarene. Which is kinda weird because I had never heard of anyone cool coming from that town, but Jesus had really made a name for himself lately. Supposedly, he’s a descendent of King David of Israel and that God can do miracles through him. If I could only bother him for one second, maybe he would help me see. If only I could even see him!
So I just started shouting for him. People around me told me to shut up and be quiet (why, I don’t know, because everyone else was talking), but I just kept yelling even louder for the Son of David to have mercy on me.
Honestly, I don’t know how he heard me in that crazy crowd of people, but I heard someone order for me to be brought to him. As I stumbled toward the man, I heard him ask, “What do you want me to do for you?” Was he talking to me? Was Jesus really asking me what I wanted him to do?
“Lord,” I stammered, “I want to see!”
“Alright,” Jesus answered. “Receive your sight. Your faith has healed you.”
As soon as he said that, my eyelids slammed shut. I didn’t mean to shut my eyes; it was a reaction like when I pull my hand away from a flame. I slowly opened opened them again, and instead of darkness, I saw.
I saw it all. Everything I had felt, tasted, smelled and heard, I also saw. I saw the birds I had heard chirping. I saw the sun’s warmth on my arm… my arm… so that’s what I look like. I looked up and I saw the people staring at me… the same people who kicked me, threw trash at me, and called me Son of Filth.
Then there was the man who stood in front of me. His face was different. I had never seen eyes before, but I couldn’t stop staring into his. This must be what power, majesty, kindness, and love look like. Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, met me, the Son of Filth, in person, in public, and on purpose! He did far more than clear my cloudy eyes… he made right with society — a gift far greater than I could ever have dreamed. From then on, I couldn’t help but praise God for how he completely transformed my life.
While that is the end of the story of how my life changed, it is not the end of my entire story. I am, however, only one of the countless stories of lives changed by this man. And this is by far not the end of his story, either. But that is for someone else to tell…