In the Gospel reading for this past Sunday, Jesus heals a man who was born blind. Over the course of the reading, his name is never shared, but he is variously identified as:
- a man blind from birth
- the man who had formerly been blind
- the blind man
- the man who had received his sight
Only once in the reading is the man referred to as "the blind man," and only in the context of the Pharisees' interrogation. The Pharisees are looking at a now seeing man, but they can only see his past, can only see his identity as tied to his past disability.
But Jesus never sees him for his disability, never sees him only for his past. With Jesus, the man has a future. With Jesus, the man's open eyes and open heart are pointed towards God's future.
We should never mistake a person's identity for their disability, nor should we mistake our own identities as only our disabilities. Jesus invites us into a reality in which our past, our disabilities, are not our identity. We are invited into a reality in which our identity as children of God calls us into a different future with open eyes and seeing hearts.
What in your past are you called to walk past, to not allow to control your future? What future are you called to live into?
Image credit: JESUS MAFA. Jesus cures the man born blind, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48383 [retrieved March 26, 2017].