The miracle happened in stages not because Christ was weak – but because the blind man was…
I have been meditating on the Gospel of Saint Mark that describes the miracle of the healing of the blind man that was performed slowly and in stages (Mark 8:22-26).
“Some people brought to Him a blind man, and begged Him to touch him. And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when He had spit on his eyes and laid His hands upon him, He asked him, ‘Do you see anything?’ And he looked up and said, ‘I see men; but they look like trees, walking.’ Then again He laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:22-26).
This is an interesting miracle to me because unlike with the other miracles, this healing happened slowly and in stages. Christ did not just unleash His DIVINE power on this blind man without restraint, He did things slowly and this miracle took time.
And I have been wondering why?
After all, Christ was clearly a busy man. All accounts in the Gospels remind us that Christ was followed by multitudes and that thousands followed Him around waiting to be healed and listening to Him preach. Obviously it would have been much easier and faster and more convenient for Christ if He simply got the miracle finished and out of his hair – so to speak – without walking in one direction and then touching the man not once, but twice? And yet, there He was, walking around, leading the blind man by the hand, restoring his sight slowly and in stages?
And I have been wondering why?
After all, it is clear from all the other miraculous things that Christ was doing at the time that he was ABLE to heal this man in a flash. He had turned water into wine, raised people from the dead, healed lepers, multiplied loaves and fish, and caused the deaf and dumb to hear and speak. So, why was it that this time – with this blind man – He took things slowly and went by stages.
Was it because He was having a bad day? Was it because Christ was tired? Was it because He was UNABLE to be Divine in this instant?
Of course not! Christ is Perfect God and Perfect Man. His Human Nature could no more detract from His Divine Nature than I have the power to resist temptation and grow in virtue without Grace…
So, if this miracle occurred slowly and in stages, and it was NOT because Christ was weak, why was it?
And I think the answer is pretty simple… The miracle happened in stages not because Christ was weak – but because the blind man was…
Christ – who is God – knows what we are capable of. He understands our flawed human nature far more easily than we ourselves understand it. He knew that that blind man was unable to cope with the full magnitude of this miracle in one go. He knew that the blind man could not handle regaining his sight in an instant – such a thing would have terrified him to death. Christ knew that He needed to work slowly and in stages in this man’s life – and He, God of the Universe – slowed things down, out of merciful love for that blind man…
And this makes me think…
The next time that I talk to my Beloved and complain that my prayers are not being answered RIGHT NOW, perhaps I should look to the miracle of the healing of the blind man. Because isn’t it quite possible that the reason things are moving forward slowly and in stages, is not because God is weak – isn’t it quite possible, that the reason for the slowness and the stages is me? Just me?
For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.