After Jesus had put saliva on the man’s eyes and laid hands on him, Jesus asked the man whether or not he could see anything. Initially, the man saw people. The only problem was, they looked like trees walking. Now this man wanted to see. That’s why they had taken him to Jesus (Mark 8:22-25). Jesus laid hands on his eyes a second time. This time, we are told, the man “looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (Mark 8:25). The laying on of hands by Jesus was accompanied by an intent look by the man. Something happened: Everything became defined and could be perceived accurately.
Many of us are seeing people like trees walking because we’re looking but not paying attention. It may be that we’re lost in a haze, preoccupied with our own concerns, or just confused by all the “noise” around us. Nevertheless, we need our sight so that we can better witness to God’s love.
Enabling sight for ourselves and our students starts with allowing Jesus to lay hands on us through our communal and individual devotional lives. It moves from there to a healthy curiosity/interest about people and life and desire to see so that we embrace the intent gaze. Surely we would then see everything clearly and be moved with compassion to witness to God’s love as seen in Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Some questions that can help us be mindful and focused as we seek to discern what is around us as we move about from day to day:
What is happening now?
Who is speaking?
What are they saying?
How are they saying it?
Who is acting?
How are they acting?
What is affecting them?
To which places do people go?
What do they do there?
What is the attraction?
Who lives here?
What resources and facilities are available to them?
What are the questions you would ask to enable sight?
by Claire Smith