Saturday, March 01, 2008

Healing Mud

When MCC visited Israel in the fall of 2007, we went to the Dead Sea. One of the marketed features of the dead sea is its mud. Mud packs and mud baths are a big part of the whole "spa" deal. So most of us who went into the Dead Sea first of all coated ourselves with this "healing" mud. It was not pretty. I took pictures and pictures were taken of me coated with mud. They will not be posted on this site. Being covered with mud makes no one look nicer, only more like a big toad who is lost. 
The story in John 9:1-41 is a similarly confusing story. There is no prior tradition of Jesus using spit and mud. He just does it without being asked. It would be different if this guy was like blind Bartimaeus who cries out for help and healing. This guy is just sitting there as he has always done getting alms. He did not lose his sight in a traumatic accident. It was just never there and he was used to that fact. Jesus did not ask him if he needed anything. The first thing he knew was this warm goo being daubed into his non-seeing eyes. Yuk!  The next thing is the instruction: Go wash it off in the pool of Siloam. Tight! Thanks a bunch. Make me gooby then tell me to go clean myself off! Talk about insults to injuries! 
That's where I find myself much of the time: grousing and complaining to God about this thing and that...and then it gets "worse". Thanks a lot God! And then I'm told to go and wash in the pool of __________(worship, service, mission, care, tithing, silence, lectio divina, etc.). "This is not a good time for me, God!" I protest. I'm just trying to get used to my (blind) situation.
But it's always in the going that I get to seeing, even with the healing mud!


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