Open and Closed

“But they kept asking him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?'” – John 9:10

From a Jerusalem street to the Pools
of Siloam, spittle-moist dust awash
in the waters, a new sense a-born
to beguile his return to the place
where the Healer no longer is found.

“How’s this?” they asked. “How can your eyes
be opened? You’ve never known sight
since the day you arrived.” “The man Jesus
made mud and he told me to wash;
when I did, my vision was born.”

Hard hurrying queries and skeptical
silences, speech disbelieved or
discounted or scoffed. Speaking a
simple story of fresh mud washed free,
but the hearts, not the eyes, were fast closed.

Is it part of our nature, God, something
inherent that makes human beings choose
their answers ahead? We question
and search but will not find a truth
when we’ve chosen the word we’ll accept.

Praise God for your vision, O once
sightless man, but praise God the more
for your wide-open heart, to hear
and to trust the man Jesus who said,
“Go the pool now and wash.”

A poem/prayer based on John 9:1-41, the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading for Year A, Fourth Sunday in Lent.

The image is The Blind Man Washes in the Pool of Siloam (Le aveugle-né se lave à la piscine de Siloë) by James Tissot (between 1886 and 1894) – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2008, 00.159.173_PS2.jpg, Public Domain,

3 thoughts on “Open and Closed

  1. ” … human beings choose their answers ahead” is such a powerful line. My partner Don has profound hereditary hearing loss (first hearing aids at 45) Last night sitting side by side I say, “Do you think the third season of Ted Lasso is up?” He says, “OK, if you want, I’ll take my shower first.” I laugh and explain face to face so he can read my lips. I believe that’s what we do — pick an answer and stick to it because we are afraid to be seen as unknowing.

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