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Editor’s Note: With so many churches in our area having to suspend worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking local pastors to partner with us in bringing a daily message of hope and comfort to readers during this difficult time.

John 9 tells us the story of Jesus healing a man who had been born blind. When the disciples saw him sitting beside the road, they asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). All the Pharisees saw was Jesus breaking the rule about working on the sabbath. The man’s neighbors kept looking for any explanation other than what had happened.

When we read the stories in the Bible, there is a temptation to think, “That’s interesting, and it is wonderful that God could do this for people back then; but it doesn’t have much to do with me.”

However, if we want to see what God wants us to see in the scriptures, it can help to place ourselves in the stories. We can learn something about who we are by identifying ourselves with those people.

Are we the disciples? Analyzing and discussing and not seeing the human being in the situation, missing a chance to be part of what God is doing in the world.

Are we the neighbors? Confronted by a wonderful work of God but still not willing to believe our eyes because we know that sort of stuff does not happen.

Are we the Pharisees? Good church people guarding the rules but lacking compassion.

Or are we the blind man? Having our eyes opened and rejoicing in the knowledge that Jesus, the son of God, has touched us and then telling others what Jesus has done.

Often, we don’t really expect to see God do amazing things. How would life be different if our eyes were opened to see the many ways God is at work all around us? Would we find the hope we have been needing? Would we find the peace we have been seeking? Would our hearts be filled with joy and the realization of how much God loves us?

I think we would find all of these things to be true.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes, “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation that makes God known to you. I pray that the eyes of your heart will have enough light to see what is the hope of God’s call, what is the richness of God’s glorious inheritance among believers, and what is the overwhelming greatness of God’s power that is working among us believers” (Ephesians 1:17-19).

The Rev. Elaine Ruth is pastor at First United Methodist Church in Surgoinsville.