She sits in the back near the door to the hallway, four tables from the front. Usually, she’s alone. Occasionally, someone will sit with her for church service. But mostly, my complicated friend endures quietly, processing much, it would appear.
Her countenance can come with frowns and tears, with shakes and shivers, and with the unexpected smile. She is gifted with a voice and has often taken part in singing solos for our services on Sunday.
Actually she is repeating her time at the center due to failing her drug test, due to giving in to the pressure, and somehow she hadn’t conquered the drugs that caused her car wreck, the breakup of her family, and the many hurts.
She had already gone through the nine month program, seemed on track, and graduated. And yet, when I saw her at a restaurant not long after her release, something seemed amiss. She smiled when she greeted my husband, she stood and twitched some, but I shrugged it off.
Now that she’s in the center again, it’s like a refresher course, like another chance, like a beautiful favor from the Lord. He’s allowing her to sit, to learn, to adjust, to conquer, to hear His voice again. It’s another touch from God. He’s offering her amazing grace for her soul.
A glimpse of this “touch” came last Sunday as I opened my Bible to my text, to Mark 8 and to John 9 where two blind men were healed by Christ. My Bible was open to the very spot when she walked to the front to sing.
Here’s how those stories unfolded: One blind man found sight when Christ spit and touched him, but not until the man was touched the second time did he see clearly. (Mark 8)
Then the other blind man (John 9) met the ‘spitting’ Jesus who made mud and placed it on the man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the water of Siloam. The man did just that; made his way through the crowd, and washed in the water, and he received his sight.
Now imagine the two sharing their healing stories.
Mark Man: Did Jesus spit on his hands?
John Man: Yes, and after he spit in the dirt, he made mud.
Mark Man: Mud? You got mud?
John Man: Yes, and I had it on my eyes. He caked my eyes with the sticky dirt.
Mark Man: I didn’t get mud. But Jesus did spit and then he touched me. But wait, he touched me twice. I saw people at first, but they seemed like trees swaying.
John Man: Well, I had to wash the mud off before I could see. I got one touch. And one washing.
Mark Man: So you got mud. I can’t get over that. After Jesus touched me the first time, I saw blurry until He touched me, again.
John Man: Aren’t you thankful that He touched you again? He could have walked away, and left you. Isn’t that amazing?
If you will notice, the two blind men received healing in two different ways. One got touched twice. They both had a little spit. But the other one had mud and water. The key is they both met Jesus.
I wonder if we’re guilty of trying to figure out someone’s journey of faith. Are we guilty of questioning why someone struggles? Or fails? Or remains trapped in a situation? Do we use how Christ delivered one person, only to apply this same principle to another person? Or should we let Jesus be Jesus?
I never want to discount how the Lord will or can touch a heart. Or how many times He must touch someone or speak to them or guide them before he or she sees clearly. Some of us need the mud. Some of us need to wash. Some need spit. Some of us need a glimpse of the glory of our Savior like walking trees of hope. And some of us simply need to get the caked view from our eyes. And go wash in the water!
Jesus came to heal and restore and to save, and however He sees fit to reach into a life, it’s the power in Him that changes a life. That gives sight. That removes the caked view. That liberates and restores.
So when my little friend came up front to sing Sunday, my Bible was open to the verses she shared in John 9, and she sang a song about washing in the water and seeing Jesus. She had no idea I was teaching on this subject. I had no idea she was singing until I got to the center. And yet, the Lord guided our hearts to the very verses we needed to read, at the very same moment.
Receiving a touch from God, a word from God, and an embrace for our soul made for a precious memory. It was like holy-spit from heaven. A washing for our hearts.