How amazing to be able to see with your fingers when you cannot see with your eyes. Asher ‘knew’ what his sister and nephews looked like; he was familiar with the feel of the tree. And yet it was only when Jesus restored his sight that he could see them and revel in their beauty – a beauty that was perhaps taken for granted by those who had always been able to see.
In a way, I realised this was true of me too. I understood Benjamin’s comments about spiritual blindness. I knew the Gospel stories. I had grown up with them. They were so familiar to me that they had lost their impact. But now, reading them again from someone else’s point of view, it was as if Jesus had restored my sight. Now, suddenly, they were fresh and were revealing Jesus, the Son of God, to me in a new way! I became aware of a deepening sense of gratitude to these men and women who had risked so much to share their stories with the world.
Asher’s story helped me to see the Gospel stories with a clarity that was not there before. I enjoyed the way he returned to his tree that was so familiar to his fingers and there, not only encountered the colours of the tree, but also his God. Jesus knew that this had happened. When he turned around and nodded at Asher, he acknowledged the connection between God and the healed man. What an amazing thing! I too have met my God as I have worked with and read through these stories.
I pray that you have too, my boy.
Eli’s story comes, perhaps as light relief. Yes, there is a miracle, but there is also a man, like you and me. He does not understand what he is seeing – and yet he accepts it.
My boy, discussion between us is impossible now. I am beginning to realise that it is not my work to convince you, but rather the work of Jesus, Messiah, and so I leave the explanations up to him. I know that you will come to understand.