So what is a blind man to do? He has come seeking sight and he has found it in Jesus, but this very encounter which he had hoped for has now, necessarily, changed the God to whom he comes. If he is not careful, it will not be long before "sighted" is simply the way this man is, and he will forget altogether that it is only by the grace of God.
Then what will he do with this Jesus?
It's a fair question, and one of the hardest, I think. There are a lot of people out there who might say that it's up to the blind man to never forget that moment he shared with the passing Lord. It's up to him to remember what Jesus has done for him, that if he can simply remember, he will never forget.
The trouble is that we do forget, though. The trouble is that the longer time continues to press on, the harder it is to remember that moment when Jesus laid His hands on our blinded eyes. It gets harder to remember that one fine moment when we cried, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" and He did. It gets harder to remember standing on the side of the road for hours, waiting to hear the noise of the passing crowd, waiting for that one chance. It gets harder to remember that day at all. Because all of our days since then have been sighted. All of our days since then have been full of their own memories, their own vivid colors, their own newnesses to explore. All of our days since then have been something else entirely and it's not long until this is just the way things are. And the way, it seems, that they have always been.
It's hard to hold onto that moment. It's hard because you don't need that moment any more. At least, it doesn't feel like you do. You got what you needed from it - your eyes have been opened - and that moment, that one powerful awesome moment with Jesus...it was everything you needed, but you don't need it any more. Not when you've got this whole sighted life to live.
But you do need it, and this is where we have to make this shift in our minds to remember. You do need that moment because without it, every sighted day that you have is a mistake, not a miracle. Without it, everything you see is only a shadow of some truth. Every day that you wake up not blind, it's a direct result of that moment and so every day that you wake up not blind depends upon that scene.
The way to remember, the way to keep that Jesus in your heart, however, is not to remember that moment. That's far too easy to forget. (I don't know why, ok? It just is.) The way to keep the Jesus who drew you to Himself in your heart is to remember what it's like to be blind. It's to remember the darkness. It's to examine your own scars.
Living sighted is one thing when it's just a thing that you do, when you lose sight of how you do it. Living sighted is something else entirely when you're aware that it is something you weren't capable of doing, something you were not supposed to do. Maintaining that connection with God begins not in remembering who He is, but in recalling who you are not. You are not a sighted man, not without the grace of God. You are a bleeding woman without His robe. You are a simple Samaritan woman without His tenderness. You are a sinner without His saving grace.
When you wake up every day knowing you're a blind man, even as you watch the sun rise over the horizon, it draws you back to the Jesus you've come to know. It brings you back to His healing power...without a dependency on it. Without your needing it to know Him. Because you come these days not for the healing, but for the thanks. You come in thanksgiving because when you wake up a blind man with sighted eyes, you cannot help but be thankful for the gift of one more beautiful day.
Am I making sense? Are you getting this? It is vitally important.
It's hard on most days to remember God outright. It just is. It's hard to remember all of the little things He's done for you and me. At any given time, life is prone to feel simply like life, like this is the way things are. And in all that, it's easy to lose God. It's easy to realize you've lost track of Him. It's easy to think you have to come up with some way to get Him back. It's easy to go back to brokenness because that seems like the way to remember the Healer.
But there is another way. If you want to remember the Healer, simply recall the brokenness. Remember what it was like to wake up blind. Remember what it was like to wake up bleeding. Remember what it was like to wake up and know that you were a Samaritan woman. Look at the scars that cover your flesh; look at the scars on your spirit. Remember what it was like to be broken. Hear the trembling in your voice as you cry out, "Son of David, Have mercy on me..."
That draws you back into the mercy. It takes you into grace. It reminds you that there is a God who hears you, one who responds to you, one who heals you. It reminds you of the very God you sought, the one you found, the one you're afraid of losing. You don't have to be the blind man any more. By the grace of God, you don't.
But if you want to hold onto the God of grace in your heart, you can never forget what it was like to be the blind man. It draws you back into the presence of Jesus. Every time.
And that's when it happens. You find yourself growing not in dependency on God but in relationship with Him. You come not in desperation, but in thanksgiving. You come not hoping, but knowing. Knowing and trusting. Trusting and thanking. Thanking and longing. Longing and loving. Truly loving.
This is how a blind man lives sighted without losing his eyes for Jesus. This is how a blind man lives sighted...by the very grace of God.