A sailor found himself in harsh and rough waters on the sea. Survival seemed scanty… but he called on the Lord. His prayers were heard, and he found himself washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He again prayed intensely to God, to rescue him. He managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements. One day, after having wandered all around for food, he arrived home only to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rising up to the skies. Stuck with disbelief, grief, and anger, he cried out: “GOD! How could you do this to me? You saved me from the shipwreck, but only to abandon me on this island! And now you have taken away my only means of survival.”
Early next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It was a rescue ship that had come to rescue him! “How did you know I was here?” asked the man. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied! The burnt hut – which the man had considered as a tragedy and a cruel act from God turned out to be the signal, by which people could come to rescue him. Even though he had received God’s rescuing hand the first time, from the shipwreck, he needed a “repeat” intervention, to realise and deepen the awareness of the providential presence of God in his life.
What about us? Are we also in need of a “repeat” intervention from the Lord for a greater commitment and dedication to our life of faith?
When Jesus arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to Him a blind man. Jesus began the process of healing that took place in two stages. Jesus first placed His hands on him and enquired whether he saw anything. The man replied: “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then Jesus laid His hands a second time, and he saw clearly, with his sight restored. (Mk 8: 22-26)
This two-step process of healing is a great reminder to us that Jesus was in perfect control of the healing process, and that faith in Jesus is not a one-time event; but a process that could extend to different stages, that growing in faith in Him is a gradual process.
Each of us go through situations and moments in life when we are blind, when, even with a touch of the Lord, “we see people looking like trees and walking”. Problems and difficulties often clout our vision. Experiences of an encounter with the Lord do keep our faith alive, though feeble, In all such moments, we need another “touch” from the Lord, a “repeat” intervention from Him!
As Christians, who have been “in faith” for a long time, there are possibilities when our life of faith loses its charm and charisma, when our resolutions and promises lose touch of its initial fervour and zeal, when our commitment and dedication fail to have the required enthusiasm and passion.
In all such moments of “blind moments” and “blurred vision”, we need a “repeat” intervention from the Lord! Let us therefore, allow the Lord to touch us and experience His healing grace to lead us out of blindness and blurredness into clarity of faith and trust. (FR. JIJO MANJACKAL)