Seeing With New Eyes

October 6, 1996

Mark 8:22-25 – They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, "Do you see anything?" He looked up and said, "I see people; they look like trees walking around." Once more Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. (NIV)

Early in my ministry I was told by an hundred and three year old lady of what it was like, when Custer led his troops into a village populated by women, children and the elderly, to watch as the troops butchered every living creature. She escaped in the bullrushes along the bank, dragging her baby brother with her. The few survivors of the massacre made their way to Canada and set up a number of reserves right along the border. This woman was the grandmother of the first Presbyterian elder to be elected in many years at Waywayseecappo, Manitoba, a man who is a grandfather many times over at this moment in history. It was one of the first times that I actually heard history from the other side, from the "losers", from the powerless. Though I had been a history student most of my life, this encounter allowed me to look at events differently, and never again did I presume that one story was the only story to be told.

Much of what the Old Testament has to say was written by the losers, by those powerless to oppose the dark empires of their day. The stories of the Old Testament often tell us to look with different eyes on what is success and what is failure.

Prayer: Great God help us to see the world as you see it. Help us to learn from and listen to one another and know that you are the God of all. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Kenn Stright <kennethstright@yahoo.ca>
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

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