Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, October 7

The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, "Go to Siloam and wash." Then I went and washed and received my sight.
—John 9:11

Sometimes we look for a geographic cure. We're sure that a new job, a new town, a new doctor, a new church, or a new relationship will give us new life. Having heard the adage, “Away with the old, and in with the new,” we plunge headfirst into the search for a new beginning.

Scripture, however, points us in another direction. The man born blind, that Jesus and his disciples passed one day so many years ago, did not receive a new eye. Instead, he received the gift of sight in his old eye made new. The lepers Jesus healed did not receive new skin. The faces they had were made new. The paralytic did not receive new legs. Instead, the legs he had were healed and he began to walk.

Healing, it turns out, makes all things new not by replacing them, but by renewing them. In our lives there are relationships that call for healing. There are ailments that call for healing. There are callings that stand in need of renewal. In each of these places we have choices to make. We can break off the relationship, leave our town, and find a new place, or we can ask that the old be made new. Instead of looking for a “cure,” we can ask for healing and then trust where it will lead us.

When we do, there will be stories to tell. We are still reading about a man born blind, still marveling at the lepers who made their way to the temple after they had been rejected for so many years, and still imagining the wondrous first strides of a man whose same old legs received the gift of healing.

Grant us, gracious and merciful God, the gift of healing that renews us, that mends us, that brings us to life.

The Signposts for October are written by The Rev. Larry Pray, who for twenty years served as a pastor for the United Church of Christ in Minnesota and Montana, until a disability meant that he had to find new ways to express life. His first book was Journey of a Diabetic, about learning to accept incurable disease. Other publications include Leading Causes of Life, co-authored with Gary Gunderson, and The Geography of Healing that includes interviews with pastors, doctors and hospital administrators about where it is that we heal.