Washing for Sight

Mar. 6, 2013

John 9:1, 6-7

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who was blind from birth. After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smeared the mud on the man’s eyes. Jesus said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (this word means sent). So the man went away and washed. When he returned, he could see.

I am a bath person. Growing up in an old farmhouse, this was our only option. Going to college and having a regular shower was a treat! While I enjoy the quickness of a shower, at the end of the day, I love soaking in a hot bath. During seminary, this was one of my favorite places to read.

A few years ago, I convinced Rick to finally put in the deep bathtub with jets that I longed for. The bathroom previously had a complete shower surround. As he was cutting the surround into pieces to get it out of the bathroom, he questioned if this was really what I wanted. The neighbors must have thought we were crazy when pieces of the surround came shooting out our bedroom window.

I view this bathtub as a cheap therapy session. I love getting my entire body surrounded by water with some bubbles. In the winter, I often take a bath before bed as one way to help me sleep better. Based on last month’s water bill, it appears I have been taking a higher than average rate of baths.

After sleeping for a couple hours last night, I woke up and was not able to get back to sleep. Since I had not had a bath before going to bed, I decided to try this trick. Earlier this week, I encouraged people to find a place for 30 minutes just to be with God. Last night, the reading material stayed on the countertop. I never cracked the book open. I just wanted to be with God in the warmth of the bath tub.

Honestly, no profound thoughts came my way. I replayed over the events of the last few days in my mind. I thought about what lies ahead. I recalled that I had not completed a blog for the day. And then, I just thought about nothing except my Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer for the last half of the hour. I am not sure that anything really came out of this time except the thought of capturing this experience here.

While visiting a pool one day, Jesus healed the man’s sight. There was much controversy over Jesus’ healing. The simple truth is after Jesus smeared mud on his eyes, he went to the pool, washed and he could see.

Sometimes we need to put ourselves into position and places we can “wash” ourselves and see the One, True Son of God who offers us a way to see through the things of this world that may blind us. Too often we choose not to see the things that God longs for us to see because we have been too busy to see what laid before us. I know that just 30 minutes in a bathtub will not open my eyes to everything God desires for me to see. But it is a place to start.

How I appreciate the moments when I do slow down and seek you. Help me see you today in my day. Give me eyes to see the things you so long for me to see. Amen.

Blessings –


Living Today

Mar. 5, 2013

Isaiah 38:19a

The living, the living can thank you, as I do today.

Today was my friend Carlene’s celebration of life. At the worship service, it was my privilege to witness to her life and share some things that made Carlene special to other folks and me.

At the end of my remarks, I shared a poem written by another friend, Bonnie Mohr. Bonnie is an artist as well as a dairy farmer with her husband in Minnesota. While many of her prints are agricultural images, she has also painted a number of inspirational pieces. One such print is called, “Living Today.” The print is a rural four-corners which could be anywhere in the rural Midwest. In the distance is a farm. Here are the words Bonnie painted on this print:

Living today: Today is a gift. Embrace it with joy and anticipation … realize the possibilities. It beckons you towards your destination in life. Be at peace – you are exactly where you are meant to be at this moment. God has carefully chosen the people, events, joys and challenges on your path today. The things you will encounter are stepping stones of what is to come. Make the most of today. Focus on “the present”—you will see and appreciate things you might otherwise miss. Follow your heart – search to find your purpose in life and you will find meaning and happiness. Use your talents, do your best, contribute. Make a difference, because you can. Be passionate about your journey – sing, dance, laugh and love as you go. Give praise and allow time for prayer. The promise of tomorrow begins with the endeavors of today. Do not let the fast-forward pace of the world deprive you from savoring “the now.” Seek things that fill you with love and bring you joy. Have faith, it fosters hope – it makes the difference. Believe, with God all things are possible. Live well – live today, for it is a gift.

In the last few months, I have been reminded several times that today is a gift; every day is a gift. Too often we let things from yesterday cloud our opinions and prevent us from fully loving people. And then there are the days we do not fully appreciate and let slip by without considering them a gift. Today is a gift. Treat it well. I pray Bonnie’s words help us live today with an appropriate perspective.

Thank you for today, Lord God. Thank you for being present with me and providing just what I needed for today. Inspire me to make the most of today. Amen.

Blessings –