As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.“Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”
“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam”(Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!
I have long been fascinated by this story, but a particular phrase struck a new cord today.
“This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
Let me explain.
We went to see someone today about difficulty my son was having, or so I thought we were there for my son. Turns out the whole interaction really ended up impacting me.
You would think after years of knowing Ryan is different in some ways than other kids, I would have come to some rational point of acceptance. But mommy love often balks in the face of rational thought, so no, I really haven’t. I have held very much to the desire of wanting my son to be “normal”. Whatever that is…as if a true normal really exists…
And so I’ve fought and I’ve struggled. Much like the disciples in this story I have wondered if I, his parent, had done something wrong…if my sins had caused his “blindness” in his own intellectually disabled ways. I have blamed myself. I have blamed the struggles with his breathing at his birth. I have blamed vaccines, and processed foods, and anything else and I could think of. I’ve blamed God and passive aggressively distanced myself just let Him know…hey…I’m not happy with you.
But maybe, just maybe, I have come to some sort of understanding.
This could have happened that the Glory of God might be seen through him.
There’s nothing to blame or feel angry about or ashamed of. Ryan is simply a display of the Lord’s splendor in ways that a perfectly un-disabled child could never be. God has a plan and his disability certainly doesn’t exempt him from that plan…in fact it fully qualifies him for it.
In the past I have chosen blindness about Ryan’s disabilities…at times, at least in my mind, denying their existence. But they are still present and aren’t going anywhere. And neither am I, or him for that matter, until I stop sitting frozen with my eyes covered.
It’s time to move forward and look at what he can do instead of sit paralyzed by all the things I think he can’t.
So I’m done. It’s over. Blinders off. Time to move forward. And maybe it’s time for you to move out of your own personal blinded state too…because when it all comes down to it…our less than perfect circumstances truly are the places God’s love shines the brightest.