When Jesus went to Bethsaida, “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 on him, he asked him, ‘Do you see anything?’ And he looked up and said, ‘I see men, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (Mark 8:22-25).
This is weird. Why didn’t it work the first time? We know that Jesus doesn’t mess up! Was he trying to teach us something?
Do you ever “see people, but they look like trees walking around”? We may “see” certain groups, but well, “they all look alike.” “It’s embarrassing, really embarrassing,” admits Alice O’Toole, a face-recognition expert and professor of behavioral and brain sciences at the University of Texas. “I think almost everyone has experienced it.”
But what if you were one of the “trees”? You might say, “Hey! Why are you blurring me into a group? See me!” After all, ethnicities and gender aren’t accidents. God has created diversity to offer a fuller reflection of himself.
In order for all of us to “see everything clearly,” Jesus must touch our eyes a second time. When he does, we’ll know it. We’ll identify differences, discuss them, and learn what is beautiful and valuable about each other’s backstories—and truly see God’s splendid image on display.
Lord, please touch our eyes (and the eyes of our nation) a second time!