This was Andrew’s closing reading to this past Sunday’s teaching “In Providence As it is in Heaven.”
“The blind man healed looks out on the world as if it was just created because he suddenly understands how it was created to be.”
My baby brother wakes me up every morning as if he expects me to be gone. His feet stick to the hall floor as he tiptoes outside listening. Sometimes I catch the look on his face around the edge of the door, lips pressed together in silent concentration, eyes searching the bed for my shape. Then the burst of recognition – the quick smile of surprise – calling my name – and running to the bed to kiss me on the cheek over and over and tell me that it is morning. It is time to make pinwheels and build cities and blow bubbles in the lake, time to paint our faces and put on costumes and sneak around the house.
At three years old the world is bigger and mornings and sleepy older sisters are still miracles. There is marvel sketched across your face and your eyes will believe anything. There is mystery behind every piece of reality.
“There is mystery behind every piece of reality.”
For most of my brother’s life I’ve been away at school, home only for visits, and he asks all the time when I am going back. Yet even after months of being home, his excitement to find me in my bedroom is just as fresh, and I’ve been told that he goes into every bedroom in the house, before he gets to mine, and wakes everyone this way.
The world is lost a little in living, disguised by routines and expectancy. But there is a vision beyond that of the child, an instance of recognition that makes the world new. Flannery O’Connor compares the experience of conversion to that of the blind man that Christ healed, rooted in reality, but given a different layer of context and an intensity of newness. The blind man healed looks out on the world as if it was just created because he suddenly understands how it was created to be.
“Flannery O’Connor compares the experience of conversion to that of the blind man that Christ healed, rooted in reality, but given a different layer of context and an intensity of newness.”
The vision of faith cuts through the film of familiarity, dethroning assumptions, messing up categories. The eyes touched by Christ may seem to behold strange visions – men like trees, walking around – but this is only because they no longer see impossibilities.