Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Now [Jesus] was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one that had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed.
—Luke 11: 14-15

When I was a child, we purchased all my shoes at one downtown store. Each time I needed school or Sunday shoes, my mother would take me to Bell's Department Store. And after we tried countless shoes, wiggled toes, considered the price, and made the purchase, I received candy and a golden, plastic egg full of prizes and toys. But despite these treats, I never wanted to go.

Outside the door of Bell's Department Store, sat a man who had lost his legs in World War II. No matter when we went, he was
there selling pencils and cigars. He mumbled, and to me, he  seemed like a demon, a mean creature of some sort. I was scared to death of him.

After going on many such trips, I was surprised when my mother gave me a dollar one day and told me to put it into the coffee can that sat by the man's side. I told her no. I would not do it. But with patience and love, she took my hand, walked with me, and I put the money in the can.

He immediately looked up, and smiling, joked, "I take it you want pencils and not cigars." He laughed. Mom laughed. I laughed. He looked directly into my eyes, gave me a wink, and said thank you. In one instant, a man who had been a demon was transformed before my eyes. He was a human being. A child of God. A miracle.

On the way home I remember crying as I realized that this man would never walk again. Before the moment our eyes met, he was merely an object to me, something on the sidewalk. He might as well have been something that someone dropped and forgot along the way. But after he spoke, after we shared that holy stare, I realized who he was.

Now, in retrospect, I realize who I was. I was a child in need of
healing. Healing came, not to him, but to me. I had assumed that he had been the one with the demon, the one possessed, the one in need of God's miracle. But in truth, I had.

In the simple gesture of a mother giving a child a dollar and helping him connect to another human being, a miracle came. In a simple gesture, God brought healing.

Gracious and loving God, heal me so that I might see your miracles all around. Deliver me from the presumption of others' demons, and help me to see my own, so that in your gracious love I might know your healing hand. Amen.

Copyright ©2009 Michael R. Sullivan.