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a far radiance

26 Aug

Once more on the eyes.

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And they enter Bethsaida (“Fishtown” – home to Jesus’ inner circle).
And the villagers bring a blind man to him, they are pleading with him just to touch him. Just once.
Jesus seized his hand and led him outside the village, away from the crowd, and he did more than touch.
He spat in his clouded eyes – and then he touched them, too, his fingers working like squeegees.
He stands back as if admiring his work.
“Do you see anything?”
The man looked up.
“Do I ever! I see! I see people!  And, whoa! they look like trees walking around!”
So Jesus again touched his cloudy eyes – and this time the cloud cover completely lifted – he saw right through it, no more obstruction, his sight fully restored, and he gazed upon  e. v. e. r. y. t. h. i. n. g.  now illuminated with a far radiance.
Then Jesus sent him home, but quickly added, “Stay away from the village.”

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This is the story found in Mark 8:22-26, re-imagined a bit, MAV (Mike’s Authorized Version) style.

I was asked about this healing last week.

“Why two touches?”

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?
Example of delayed healing?
Jesus just trying to encourage us when we try the whole healing thing and it doesn’t “take” the first time?
A warning to make sure we use enough spit or just rub harder?
Or what?

I don’t think so.

I think we need to look harder.
Spiritual eyesight seldom floods our soul all at once – as was abundantly clear judging from Jesus’ dim-witted disciples who, like us, seem so slow to really see.
We require repeated touches.
Would that it were only two required.
It will be quite the hands on experience for us.
Divine saliva spat onto the cloudy eyes of our perception.
Divine fingers rubbing dull orbs like dirty marbles, squeegee like (I can hear the “squeaking”).
Just how long will it take?
Ah, but then we see! We see!
In our excitement, we think we see so much, so clearly, such towering perceptions and insights!

But it will take another touch – and perhaps a divine breath or two.
And for some of us
Another
and another
and another…
(While for others it never comes because their eyes are never offered, their souls quite content with the reported sights and observations of others. Sigh. Sight. So overrated.)

And then it comes.

The Greek word is τηλαυγῶς (tay-lau-goes; tele=far + auge=radiance; Latin “lumina”; the word only occurs here in all of Mark – or in all of the Greek New Testament, for that matter. Couldn’t resist translating it literally).

A far radiance.

The man with the formerly cloudy eyes (that’s what the Greek word we translate “blind” literally means – wrapped in smoke [fitting for August in Boise], clouded) now looks upon everything (emphasis here in the word order) as it is now illuminated with a far radiance.

I gaze out the window at this moment and take for granted the vision that greets me of green grass and trees, of flitting sparrows and leaping squirrels. Oh to see it illuminated with that far radiance! Oh to see all so illuminated, the whole spectrum springing to life and light – faces and other eyes, sunsets and realities beyond imagination.

Ah, but first we must step out of the village, yes?

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Posted by on August 26, 2013 in Faith, Gospel of Mark, haverings

 

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