Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye

(Zechariah 2.12)

Once we were all young.
And we dreamed a lot.
We were convinced that we would change our little world into a better place.
We were full of energy and enthusiasm.
We dreamed of a future more dynamic than our predecessors handed on to us.

Then 'life' came upon us
and wave after wave it shattered all our dreams.
One blow after another.
We started learning that in life we have to be practical.
Slowly but surely we started yielding to resignation.
Contenting ourselves with less and less.
Aiming lower and lower.
Our ideals became more and more feeble.
And we fell into a host of compromises.

We started reasoning that what is important in life is to settle down.
A secure job, a family with two children, a comfortable apartment,
enough money to put our mind at rest just in case something crops up.
What else can you expect in life?

Our life became more and more similar to the blind man of the Gospel.
He was blind all his life.
Now he was resigned to the fact that he would remain blind all his life.
Perhaps when he was young, he did hope that he would heal one day,
but now…
He would stay there, at the side of the main road, begging alms.
Expecting nothing from life…
Except that he would have some money and be left in peace.

Jesus passes by together with his apostles.
And Jesus does something.
This blind man did not even say a word to Jesus,
But Jesus spits on the ground, makes paste with his spittle,
puts this paste on his eyes, and tells him:
"Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam".
Irritated, this blind man goes to wash himself
And as he did so, the cataracts fell off his eyes, and he started seeing again!
First time in his life, he saw!

When later he meets Jesus again,
He falls on his knees and worships him:

Jesus can be rough in his ways.
But this attitude is not only practical, it is also necessary.

We suffer in life because we have a mistaken idea of God.
We think that God is sweet, spongy, soft.
A god who gives in to our whims and gives us whatever we desire,
a soft, spineless God
is not real.
The God of the Scriptures is not so.
He is the God who tears down,

Since God loves us, He won't allow us to doze off,
to soften our lives,
to resign to a life caged in.
He created us to be free,
He created us for an adventure!

So He does not hesitate to put mud in our eyes
so that we become conscious of our blindness.
This may arouse us to move towards healing.
He does not mind hurting us
to force us to get on our feet
and realise that our lives can be much more beautiful.
We were created to see and not to be blind.

So when you feel mud in your eyes
when you feel itchy and bumpy,
do not freak out.
This may be a very important moment in your life,
it could be the beginning of freedom!

"My child, do not scorn correction from Yahweh,
do not resent his reproof;
for Yahweh reproves those he loves,
as a father the child whom he loves.
Blessed are those who have discovered wisdom,
Those who have acquired understanding!
Gaining her is more rewarding than silver,
Her yield is more valuable than gold."

(Proverbs 3.11-14)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.