Blinded By the Light
Another chapter in my upcoming booklet, “Our Darkness, His Light”. See yesterday’s post for more information on this upcoming booklet. Today, we meet the young man healed of his blindness by Jesus.
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Based on John 9
“Can you stand here before the High Court of God and expect us to believe you? Do not lie to Caiaphus, the high priest.” Caiaphus spat the words at him.
Simeon was still amazed by the color red. He saw it now in the old priest’s cheeks. They glowed with anger. Simeon resisted the urge to reach out his hands to touch those hot spots, to feel the heat he had never seen before this day.
“We don’t believe you, boy!” The great, hulking figure backed away slowly, turning to survey a group of men dressed in black and white. Black and white. Black Simeon understood. That was all he had “seen” his entire life. White was new. It didn’t seem to fit these men and their coarse, cruel words.
Simeon glanced at the pinched, drawn faces and back at Caiaphus. “I tell you this man healed my eyes. I was blind, but now I see.”
The black robes seemed to swarm in on each other, milling in discontent and confusion. It made Simeon dizzy, for he was not used to seeing movement. He had only heard and felt.
Caiaphus’ hand emerged from the ebon folds of his garment. “Bring in his parents.”
Simeon watched his mother and father being escorted into the room. Tears welled in his eyes. He was seeing his mother! Simeon rushed across the room, his hands going instinctively to her face. The wrinkles looked just as they felt. Her chin was soft, her lips were full. Just as they had felt.
Simeon sensed his father behind him and he whirled to stare into his eyes. They were brown. How warm that color looked. Simeon’s hands touched the bearded chin and felt the tears that streamed from his father’s face.
“Is this your son?” Caiaphus spoke from behind him, his voice an unwelcome intrusion.
Simeon’s mother and father looked at each other and then back at Simeon. “Yes!” His mother answered, joy in her heart.
“Do you know what he claims?”
“No.” The father spoke.
“Tell them.” Caiaphus gestured with his white hands.
Simeon swallowed nervously and rubbed moisture from his eyes. A small speck of clay fell into his open palm. “A man spat on the ground. And then he took clay made of the spittle and anointed my eyes. I remember feeling his face, so strong, so powerful. I felt his voice with my hands as he told me to go and wash in the pool of Siloam.”
Simeon’s voice began to crack with emotion. “Mother, when I washed the clay away, I could see! And I turned to find this man who had healed me and he was gone! I never saw him. Oh, mother, the colors! The light!”
Simeon’s mother clutched him to her chest, the tears flowing. “Oh, my son, you can see!”
“Then, this is your son who was blind from birth?”
“Yes. Why do you ask?” Simeon’s father backed away from Caiaphus’ imposing figure.
“This man,” Caiaphus’ voice shook with hatred as the dead white hand gestured at Simeon, “of whom your son speaks is not of God! He did not keep the sanctity of the Sabbath when he supposedly healed your son. He is a sinner! So how can a sinner who does not keep the Sabbath do such miracles?”
“This is our son. And, he was born blind.” Simeon’s father spoke quietly. Simeon looked away from his father and back to Caiaphus. The priest wore a grim expression.
“If any man confess that this Jesus is the Christ, he must be put out of the synagogue! What do you say?”
Simeon watched as his father’s face darkened. His eyes grew hesitant. Simeon had never seen this before. He had only heard his father’s voice filled with fear a few times in his lifetime. Now Simeon saw what it did to his father’s countenance. “I only know that this is our son, and that he was born blind. But by what means he now sees, we do not know.”
Simeon’s mother’s voice trembled with fear. This he had heard before. “We do not know who he speaks of.”
“He is old enough to speak for himself.” His father said. Simeon stared deep into his father’s eyes at the confusion and doubt there. They were deep wells of emotion, pits of blackness that penetrated to the soul, a sight Simeon could not contend with. His father reached out his hands towards Simeon and turned him to face the assemblage of priests. Black and white and red. The colors were so vivid Simeon grew light headed. What was his father saying? “He shall speak for himself.” His father pushed him forward.
Simeon stood alone against the sea of faces. Faces he had only known by touch, never by such scowls and grimaces. Eyes that he had never been able to feel were windows into their souls, betraying the hatred, the anger, the condemnation that filled their voices.
“Whether this man, Jesus is a sinner or not, I cannot say.” Simeon turned and searched his father’s face. It was turned to the ground, the eyes averted. His mother wiped at her tears with her shawl. “All I know is that this morning I was blind and now I can see.”
Caiaphus separated himself from the group and pushed his face into Simeon’s. Simeon noticed the fine, red blood vessels that filled the whites of his eyes. He smelled the wine on his breath. He heard the scorn in the voice.
“We are Moses’ disciples. You are his?”
Simeon backed away and turned to his parents. They looked at him helplessly. Simeon truly was on his own. He had to speak for himself.
“We know that God spoke to Moses.” Caiaphus continued smugly. “As for this fellow, Jesus, we do not know where he comes from.”
Simeon’s heart raced and he turned to the rest of the priests. Could they not understand the miracle that stood before them? Could they not see? “Here before you stands a marvelous feat! You do not know where this man gets his power from and yet, he has opened my eyes! God does not hear sinners.” Simeon felt his strength growing, his courage building. Yes, he could stand up for himself. All was so clear, now. He pointed to them all. “God only hears the righteous man. And, since the world began there has never been a man who opened the eyes of one born blind. Has there?”
The mass of black and white and red was silent. Simeon turned to Caiaphus, fear no longer in his heart. Caiaphus was not as frightening as an eternity of darkness.
“If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” He said.
Caiaphus backed away, his eyes wide in surprise. The chief priest glared at Simeon’s parents and then back at Simeon. “You who were blind from birth were born in sin. And you dare to teach us? Begone! You are cast out of the synagogue!”
The words pierced Simeon’s heart and he turned to his parents. They stood stricken, their eyes filled with fear. Simeon could not let this blemish fall on them. Pushing past his mother, he hurried out of the temple.
Outside, the sunlight that burned his face in the past, blinded him and for a moment he was back in his comfortable world. But, he could not remain there. He had seen too much and he could never go back. Simeon had to find the Healer, Jesus. Simeon did not know what he looked like. He glanced down at his hands, the only eyes he had ever known. They would still serve him well for he knew the touch of the Teacher’s face. He would find Him.