I grew up in the rural part of Nigeria where the food is organic, and the air is unpolluted. I grew up knowing how to interpret the weather and predict what the outcome could be. Weather forecasting by television was absent so I relied on my instincts and guts to avoid a thunderstorm and by safe. When I saw dark clouds from the east, rain would probably fall. If there was a big rainbow crisscrossing the skies from north to south shining out of the clouds, possibly the rain wouldn't fall. I knew what a thunderstorm and lightning could do to a tender body like mine, so I was told to run to safety to escape a strike.
One day I was with my father at our farms far from home in the forest when we encountered thunderstorms. We ran to one of those designated shelters built in the forest. We met others already there, and it was time to tell funny jokes to while away the time. A popular blind man also in the shelter with his son volunteered to tell us a life's lesson. He told us, "I was born blind. I married a blind wife. I'm happy with her. Imagine the miracle of God, our son is not blind. He leads the way; we follow. He is our light." My father and others praised his sense of gratitude while I joined in the laughter at his witty sayings.
Our interpretation of situations is based on the information available to us. When we have scanty information, the forecast could be faulty. The more information we have, the better our forecast of future events. We can see why in the first reading, Samuel insisted on seeing all the sons of Jesse before deciding on the next step. God had told Samuel, "Do not judge from appearance or from his lofty stature... Not as a man sees does God see, because man sees appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart." Samuel waited until Jesse brought the youngest of his sons, David. With the information complete, Samuel listened to God who told him, "Anoint him" as king over Israel. Although young, David is given the responsibility of leadership by God.
The lengthy discussion about the blind man who was healed by Jesus is a lesson to all of us. We may not be blind, but we could be blind to the miracles of God in our lives. Jesus spat on the ground, mixed some clay, rubbed his eyes, and told him, "Go wash in the pool of Siloam." He did and he was healed. His neighbors and others thought he was faking it but the miracle of God transformed his darkness into light. He could see and do things he was incapable of doing while blind.
They mocked him and ridiculed him, and said to him, 'You are that man's disciple; we are disciples of Moses! We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this one is from.'"
St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians in the second reading gives us a life lesson, "You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth." Do you see what it means to be reborn? Paul's advice is typical of a newborn from works of darkness into God's wonderful light.
Assess yourself and see how God made you a king with many unhindered benefits. The blind man in my village used to play the ukulele for us as children and we danced our hearts out. He reminds me of Stevie Wonder, the lovely American blind singer who said, "Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn't mean he lacks vision." A Christian's mission should be organic and unpolluted even when there is a thunderstorm and lightning strikes. Run to Jesus singing, "Even though I walk in the dark valley, I fear no evil." Keep praying!BACK TO LIST