Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel


There was a rhythm to his old life. He woke up. He traveled to the temple. He lowered himself down into his spot. He begged.

If he had known that gaining sight would shove him into the harsh limelight and put him on the spot in the way that it did, might he have said to Jesus, no thank you?

One of several problems with that line of thinking is the source. It comes from a place of always having had physical vision. [What do I know?]

People lost their dang minds over it, though, to the point where you wish for the man at least the option to go back in time. Neighborhood folk, church folk, the authorities, his parents...their mouths were all moving a mile a minute. If ever we forget that God working out God’s plans amidst God’s people tends to upset something or somebody, well, here it is in plain view.

It’s not that “we don’t like change”. It’s that we don’t like the change that we don’t get to pick. Even when the current reality is as ugly as presuming that a blind man or his family is to blame for his blindness, we humans may pick a fight to protect that current reality. We don’t want our own efforts, oriented around things as they are, to have been in vain.

Jesus isn’t overly worried about the people who feel like their views are under siege; at least not in this text. He has his eye on the one sheep (Luke 15). He is going to make sure that the man born blind feels found at the end of this thing.

When, in the tenth chapter, the good shepherd stuff surfaces, Jesus has already enacted the role. The man, who gains sight but loses a place of belonging, belongs anew. He has been scooped up and offered alternative fellowship.

“Jesus provides for the man born blind much more than sight—he provides for him what he, as the good shepherd, gives all of his sheep—the protection of his fold, the blessing of needed pasture, and the gift of abundant life.” Those are Karoline Lewis’s words. For you, for me, for Boulevard, I wish a glimpse of all three.

We too are gonna feel found at the end of this thing. Like Patel in the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel says: “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right, it is not yet the end.”

UncategorizedRachel May