March 27th, 2007

tiffany angel met lamp

Tuesday, Fifth week of Lent, John 9:18-41, Being Blind and Seeing

The story about the blind man that I read yesterday (John 9:1-18) continues.

The passage of today (John 9:18-41) revolves about a wordplay on being blind and seeing. Jesus says: “I came into this world for judgment, that those who don’t see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”

The Pharisees call the blind man (who is now healed) sinful. They view sins, his or those of his parents, as the cause of his blindness. Since he is sinful they do not value his testimony about Jesus. Jesus in turn calls the Pharisees who can see, sinful.

Today I have asked the question:” What does it mean to see?” Another interesting question would be: “How am I being blind?”

I have pulled the Moon from the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot. 


Depicted on the card is an owl, with big, big eyes. Owls can see remarkably well and many of them hunt during the night.

It is appropriate, but still amazing having drawn a night-card for this question. It emphasizes that seeing here doesn’t mean seeing with the eyes. Owls can see in the dark, but for humans it is difficult to see in darkness. In the night we need our gut-feeling and our six sense to cut through the illusions and the shadows that the shallow, mysterious and wondrous light of the moon throws on everything.

So, what does it mean to see in this story? Seeing in this story means being challenged to cut through illusions and dark unhelpful shadows in whatever issue (an owl as a bird has a sharp beak).

In this story for instance there are shadowy views about the role of sin as the cause of illness, un-liberating views about the meaning of illness, and high fences to shut out that healing has taken place, that Jesus did it, and that it is something to be grateful for.

I relate the Moon with my reading practice and I find it not always easy to trust my instincts and to cut through illusions. It not always nice to do that. But the touch-stone of healing and liberation is helpful.