02 June 2014

Encountering Jesus ~ Divine Makeovers

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some claimed that he was.
Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”
But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” (from John 9)
Love this photo of my mom and my oldest girl at her jr/sr banquet! When I think of my mom, one of my most frequent "mind-pictures" of the past 20ish years is her loving on and having fun with family, especially her grandbabies - with short hair like this!
(photo by Captured Memories)

Every time we come back from four years overseas, we see in an instant how people have changed (and know that people can see those same changes in us as well). Sometimes, it is just the effect of time passing and life moving on - more gray hair than before, more wrinkles, moving a little slower, weight gain/loss, additional children... Other times it goes much deeper - now-suddenly-to-us spouseless... or remarried to a different spouse. Other friends have walked away from Jesus and following the faith that united us. Some have come to know the Lord and we can relate on a level we never could before. Some have experienced deep sorrow or life-threatening illness or accident - and even though they are the same, they are unmistakably different as well. 

Ever had a friend who experienced a change and one result was that they became someone almost unrecognizable? One furlough we came home and my mom, who'd had short hair all of my life, had let her hair grow long - well below shoulder length. It was a beautiful gray and she took the time to curl and style it. It really was lovely, but she looked like someone who resembled my mom... not my real mom. I'd continually kick myself because instead of telling her how nice she looked, all I could do was sputter about how different it was. She just didn't look like the mother I remembered for 40ish years... she wasn't the person-on-the-outside I expected to see and it took some getting used to. I'd just about made it to that point when she cut her hair short again!

Imagine that same sort of change - but much more significant because it wasn't/isn't simply external, but was/is a change that affected/affects every aspect of who that person was/is.


That's what happened to this blind guy. 

His story is rapidly becoming another Scripture favorite. I guess it is okay to have lots of favorite places in God's Word?...

That people were arguing and debating, right in front of him, if this guy was who they thought he was - I find that at least mildly amusing. After all, he had been blind, not deaf. But think of the change he just experienced.
  • They always saw him sitting. He was walking.
  • They always saw him begging. He was going home, on his own, without help.
  • They always saw him unseeing. He was addressing their responses to seeing him differently.
  • They always saw him helpless. He had obviously been helped.
  • They always saw him with his eyes closed. His eyes had been opened.
The people were a bit flabbergasted. This wasn't someone they'd seen here and there through the years. This was someone they thought they knew, who'd been doing the same thing in the same place for many years. He was the man blind from birth who sat begging, every day.

Of course, when we see a change in someone we love or know the investigative sleuth seems to come out in all of us. Instead of simply asking, we often begin talking with others... debating what happened... questioning if it is the same person... We should go to the source and ask the changed one, him or herself. And if for some reason, we don't feel we can do that, we probably aren't close enough to be "talking" about that person to begin with. Seems kind of obvious, but we often skip that step and instead talk all around. In this text, we don't know if someone finally asked him who he was to clarify their confusion or if the man just responds. But he insists, "I am [that] man."

Reminds me of Jesus when He clearly identifies Himself in the garden... and at other times. There were always consequences for Jesus when He identified Himself.

And there will be consequences for this man as he identifies "Who he was before" encountering Jesus and embraces "Who he has become after" encountering the Lord.

this week's gratitude list

(#'s 4556 - 4578)
my sweet niece and her guy are officially engaged


open houses and time to visit with people - so much fun

all that Tim is learning from his on line class

swimming in the pond


Anna is working a real job

Pregnancy Resources Walk for Life

 summer thunderstorms

an upcoming missions trip for our big girls

open windows

long days with late sunsets

campfires - like three + in one week

the gift more tortillas than we can eat in a single setting

reading Now You See Me

listening to teenage girls squealing and giggling in the back yard

climbing monkey munchkins 20+ feet up the trees and giggling as we search for the locale of their voices

listening to the discomfort in their Daddy's voice as he talks them down out of said tree

the wolf dog with her tags and learning her real name

basketball camps are starting for Anna and Tori tomorrow

making relaxing with other people summer plans

sleeping in

watching Burn Notice episodes, again, just because they are fun

  Ten most recent posts in this series: 
Click here for all of the titles and their corresponding links in the Encountering Jesus series.


  1. Great perspective on our perceptions of people! I also enjoyed your gratitude list. Visiting you today from Ann's place and counting blessings with you! Mary

    1. thanks for popping back by and saying hi!

  2. Hi Richelle,

    It's nice to be here again. I'm hopping over from Ann's link up. Are you anticipating an upcoming furlough soon, or just remembering one?

    I have been reading and studying a similar miracle story too. Mine was in Acts 3 and 4 about the man who went to the Gate Beautiful, and the results. It's so fun to study and dig in deep, isn't it?

    Thinking about these changes in him and others, I hope and pray that people see me becoming more and more like Jesus.

    Jennifer Dougan

    1. Hey Jennifer,

      We are currently on furlough... but in this post, I was remembering coming home last summer as well as the other times we've done that.

      Love the miracle of the lame man as well. There are actually some significant similarities. :-)

      Isn't that a sobering thing to hope and pray? That people see more and more of Jesus and less and less of me... I must decrease and He must increase.

      Blessings - thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi Richelle,

    Yes...always go to the source first ....one of my favorite stories also...glad you're enjoying later sunsets and celebrating life's transitions :) Blessings to you :)

    1. always look forward to your kind, friendly words. thank you!


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