Men like trees, walking….

Hey…… I am back! I took a short break (sorry, long break) to sit exams and ease back into life post exams and before i knew it, it’s 2019!

Oh and on that note, Happy New Year!! I trust you crossed over victoriously? Yes? And now ready to face the next 12 months with renewed energy and vigor? Yes?!!  I am so excited about this year, but more about that later. Yes?

Can you imagine having your sight restored? The wonder, awe and joy? Ok.

Well, I can.  

I started wearing spectacles when I was in Form 1 (or grade 9). Before then, i had been accustomed to squinting my eyes in order to see the blackboard, or watch TV. I actually thought that was normal for everyone.  When I went to High School, we could not ignore it any longer. So, I visited an ophthalmologist and… well… I got spectacles. I remember them:  big red frames that covered half my cheeks.  They were delivered to school by my Dad who instructed me to wear them immediately. And oh boy…. the difference was like night and day!

First, I almost fell on my way back to class; I actually had to use the walls and fence for support. I mean, the floor was suddenly closer and I wasn’t sure I was stepping up here or down there….πŸ‘€

Then, as my eyes adjusted to the lenses, I remember staring at the trees and flowers and blades of grass….. and oh… the black board!! I could not believe it! The leaves looked beautiful, way up there in the tree! I could see things at a distance without squinting to make out their features, colors, shapes and sizes! Is this what i had been missing all this time?  It was as if a veil, a cloud, mist had been lifted from my eyes! I could see!!! Clearly!!! 

 As we celebrated the last Sunday of 2018, my heart was drawn to Mark 8:22-26. In there, the Bible records how Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida (or Bethesda). Shall we read together? Yes? Ok.  I like the New King James Version….. here we go: 

22 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. 23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.

24 And he looked up and said, β€œI see men like trees, walking.”

25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly. 26 Then He sent him away to his house, saying, <sup class="footnote" style="box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px;" data-fn="#fen-NKJV-24527d" data-link="[d]” data-mce-style=”box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; position: relative; vertical-align: top; top: 0px;”>[d]β€œNeither go into the town, nor tell anyone in the town.”

Now… stay with me. 

This blind man was brought to him while he was in Bethsaida. Isn’t that the same town in which Jesus healed a man who had been lying by a pool for loooooong in John 5? I think so. Were the healings (yes, healings…. ) done in the same period? I don’t know. 

Anyway…. let’s continue. 

Mark records that Jesus deliberately drew him out of the town… interesting. Why? Could it be that Jesus did not want a crowd around to witness the healing? Is it possible that the reason for the separation was to create opportunity for  Jesus to minister to him away from an audience? Maybe…. we’ll find out shortly.

Anyway…. let’s continue. 

After Jesus had put a distance between them and the town, the Bible records that Jesus spat on  his eyes and touched them. Wait!!!! Yaani…. Wait…. Spit. You know, spitting on any one can be taken to mean many things and depending on the circumstances, will elicit several reactions.

Mimi?? I would have wiped that spit and stormed off… I mean, really?? Is that the best you can do? Hata kama I wanted healing…. Spit?? Because there is no water around? We couldn’t  have gone to that porch in John 5 and used the water instead? You couldn’t have spoken a word and restored my sight? Or waved your hands over my face or something? Anything? But this man? He just stood there! Come to think of it…..maybe that’s why they went out of the town… that they don’t get sneered at by the crowd like you did a few minutes ago…. Ebu stop sneering… ! (By the way… Ever been to India? Seen the pan? Seen how its chewed and spat out? Ok…. You get the picture? Cool.) 

Back to the story. Jesus then asked him if he saw anything to which he responded  “I see men like trees walking.”

Did you hear that? He could see, but not very well. Isn’t that better than total blindness? Isn’t it better to see men like trees walking than to see nothing at all? Mkenya would have told you ” Pambana na hali yako. Of importance is life.” Maybe that’s why the miracles were in Israel not Kenya πŸ€”πŸ˜

But you know, this man Jesus, is so full of mercy and grace. He knew that was not total restoration. Without total restoration of sight, this man would not live life to its full. He’d miss out on seeing the blades of grass and pollen on flower – the little details that add colour to life. And of what benefit would that be? None, yes? 

So Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes and made him look up. And just like that, the healing was complete and the man’s perspective changed; he could see clearly! Can you imagine how that felt? To see clearly what moments earlier looked like trees walking? I can… to  a small extent. 

Jesus then told him something very interesting: go home. Don’t go back from where we came, neither tell it there – they might not appreciate it. Go home. 

Let’s put this together, shall we?  The story speaks to three stages in our growth: 

Blind –  in this stage, we are totally unaware of  who or what we are, or where we want to go. We are groping around in the dark for direction and stability while trying to make progress. Mercifully, there are some around us gifted with vision; they see you, your gifts and potential but have no power to open your eyes…. Not that they don’t want to, no. They simply cannot. So don’t be mad at them, don’t misunderstand them. They want the best for you, but are incapable of giving you what you need the most. They may help you get from point A to point B; but that is all they can do. 

Men like trees – in the midst of life, you meet with the Healer who takes you out of town.  After the initial interaction, you gain a measure of vision. You can identify things around you, but not fully. That’s why your best description is that men are walking like trees

Interestingly, such encounters are always intimate, away from the crowd. Personal to you. He will not heal you the same way he healed another, no. He will not use conventional means either. He will choose the where and how. We only need to follow, trust and wait. By the way, where are the ones who took you to the Healer? They remained in the town where they most likely will remain. 

Clarity –  the Healer touches your eyes again and now, your vision is restored. Your sight is perfect. You can see!! Everything!! Your potential, your height, your gifts. “What? Is this all I have? Is this all I am? Is this who I can be?”  Wait…. He’s not done. He lifts your chin  and  causes you to look up – look up from where shame and low esteem had bent your shoulders and your back… And when you do, what do you see? Not just men like trees walking. NO. You see them for who they are. The minute details, around you. You can make decisions on where to go, what to do, who to see….. Freedom! 

Final Instructions: Go home – Don’t go back where you came from. Don’t even go announce your healing there. No. That chapter is closed, it’s time to move. Go home. Where you matter, where they will recognise you and rejoice with and over you and your miracle. Most important, go where He will send you. 

This year, may your vision be restored. May the mist, cloud, veil or whatever has obscured and limited your ability to see clearly be lifted. So that you may see clearly. And when that happens, remember to listen and follow His instructions. 

They (those ahead) will receive you, rejoice with you and celebrate you. 

I promise.