Sunday, May 8, 2011

If This Man Were Not of God, He Could Do Nothing.

There was a man who was born blind, whose vocation was begging (Really, what else could you do to make a living if you were blind back in those days?), and "everybody" knew it.

One day another man and his friends were walking by. The friends asked who had sinned to cause this blind man his afliction. The leader of the group said the blindness wasn't caused by sin, but that it happened to create an opportunity for God to show His power.

He bent to the blind man and said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world," made a paste of mud and spit, applied it to the blind man's eyes, and told him to bathe in the river.

The blind man did so, and was made whole but having never seen the one who healed him.

And then the problems began.

See, everyone in the community had known this formerly-blind man for years... and now he wasn't blind. Things like that just don't happen!

Government officials got worried about the apparent power of this healer. They were wrapped up in their own positions within the community, their own power and authority, their own status. The healed man was brought in for questioning.

The healed man said "It was a man named Jesus..."
"He put clay on my eyes, and told me to wash. I followed his directions and I see."
"He is a prophet."

His parents were brought in for questioning. They verified that he had been born blind, that he was now able to see. But they refused to testify further, "He's an adult, ask him."

There were accusations of devil-worship and witchcraft, even criminal action!

The healed man said, "Whatever/whoever this man is, I don't know. The one thing I do know- I was blind, and now I see."

He is asked again to recount what happened, how the healing occurred. By this time, the healed man shows a little frustration, "I've told you already.. but you don't get it... or don't want to get it. Will another telling make you believe?"

More cries of heresy were thrown around.

"If this man were not of God, he could do nothing."

Ah, that was it! The leaders had absolutely heard ENOUGH, and the healed man was cast out.

I had so many thoughts through the Sunday School lesson today...
  • When faced with truths and realities that we're afraid of, that we're uncomfortable with, how do we handle them? I know I don't always handle it in an ideal fashion. I've ignored the facts, or gotten mad at the messenger, or just gotten mad! Sometimes I've decided to take offense, or feel hurt by the unpleasant news.
    Maybe some day I'll be better at accepting realities I don't like.
  • In the aftermath of his healing, this man's testimony of Jesus as Divinity grew. After he was cast out,  Jesus came to him and asked him about the healing. The man of course couldn't have pointed out his healer, but he knew the one who had healed him was of God, was good, was someone that deserved his respect, devotion, and worship. He didn't have to see this Man to come to know what He was.
  • These leaders thought that acknowledging Him as Divinity was the end of the word!.. Well, it was the end of their world, the world as they knew it. It marked an end of their authority, their power, their status as top dogs. The idea that the Messiah was among them scared them, and they didn't like it one bit! But in reality, the fact that He came, He saw, and He conquered, is a very good thing. He came to earth, He taught through words and deeds, and He conquered death and sin for us. What's NOT good about this??

Monday, May 2, 2011

In the News

Because of some stuff that happened last night- stuff that unless you live under a rock, you heard about- I feel that I should share some of my thoughts... which aren't a few. If you want a peak into what I'm thinking, feel free to do so. If the whole topic bothers you, skip the next couple posts. I don’t mind.

Generally, I don't like talking about politics, but in this case, it's highly political... and highly emotional.

A man, a terrorist, died about a week ago, brought down by US military operatives. We (the US) swore vengeance on him for his role in the tragedy of September 11, 2001. On that day, almost 3 thousand people died because religious extremists felt that the United States as a nation deserved ... *shrug. I don't know what they think we deserve. As infidels, we shouldn't be contaminating the face of the earth. It's a mindset I don't understand, but I guess that's the point.

Yes, Osama Bin Laden is dead. Yay and Hoo-rah!.....

But are we trading the devil we knew for a devil we don't? Nature abhors a vacuum, and there will not be a leadership vacuum at the top of al-Qaeda for long. These people are filled with hurt and hate that has been fostered and nurtured even encouraged for thousands upon thousands of years. The death of one man isn't going to change much. At best (and a long shot at that), a more rational man will come to the leadership position, and bring a little bit of reason to the whole terrorist thing. At worst, I see a hydra rising. Cut one head off, and see 5 more rise to take his place.

The troubling part for me is that I know he was so ill-prepared to meet his maker. Death for a sinner is the worst punishment- they are sent to meet their Maker, with a bright recollection of all their guilt. (Alma 11:43) His own conscience will condemn him. He must have thought that he was well prepared to meet Allah, having dedicated his life to irradiating infidels from the face of the earth. But I'm almost inclined to cry knowing that Father's heart was breaking.

You see, the worth of souls is great in the sight of God, even the soul of a murderer. (D&C 18:10). As evil and horrible as this man was, he was still a child of God- dear and precious and loved.

No, I don't think his death is something to rejoice. The only happiness I find is in the thought that it is better that one man perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief. (1 Nephi 4:13) Because of his death, there is a sliver of hope for other members of al-Qaeda.

The Middle East hasn't known peace for a very VERY VERY long time.... Since Jacob and Esau? Or should we go back a generation to Isaac and Ishmael? Is there a way to extract ourselves from this millennia-long family feud?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I love eggs! I know there are those who don’t, but I certainly do! I think over-easy is my favorite- served on top of a hot golden pancake.

A while back, I was making an egg salad sandwich. I generally boil 2 eggs, peel them while hot, then cut them up and mix them with some mayo. I pile it on a slice of bread, add another slice on top, and chow down.

As I was getting ready to peel the eggs, I had a couple little friends who wanted to watch. The 5-yr old asked if they were both eggs, seeing as how one was brown, the other a lovely pale blue-green (yes, both from domestic chickens). I told her yes. Then I asked her sister (3) if she thought the inside would be the same.. or different?

Smart girls, they both said they thought the eggs would be the same inside. So I cracked and peeled both eggs. Yup, both were white under the colored shell. So we went to the next level, and as I cut them up, I showed my little friends what was inside. The eggs were the same- white with a yellow yoke.

I told the girls that chicken eggs are like people- we find both in a variety of sizes, colors, even shapes. But at the end of the day, we’re all pretty dang similar inside. Internal anatomy doesn’t differ a whole lot.

Eggs are still eggs…
And people are still people.