John 9: 1-41

Illustrated New Resources

  • Calling on Jesus

    by Jim Chern
    Jesus is not a life insurance policy… That’s not who He is. Who is Jesus? I had been praying and working on a project for a couple of months that hasn’t come together yet, but Friday night, I pulled out my notes as I sat with that question. Who is Jesus? – Here’s 50 descriptors, names, titles that come from different places throughout the Bible in rapid fire:...
  • Lent 4A (2020)

    by Liz Goodman
    I saw Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun last summer, a production that the New York Times claimed burned “with new fire.” One thing I love about it is its look to the future, its focus on the coming generations. The family at the center of the play is even named the Youngers, three generations all living together in a cramped, worn apartment that they keep dignified against increasing odds. As a family of Youngers, they are literally concerned with the younger ones to come, each generation of racial progress one step further along a path that offers little cause for optimism but that is imperative to travel, fueled by outrageous hope (equal parts outrage and hope). Those of the oldest generation aren’t living for themselves; they’re living for the grandson who sleeps on the couch, or even for the generations yet unborn...
  • Now I See

    by Scott Hoezee
    It was shortly after World War II when the World Council of Churches decided to check on how its money was being spent in a remote area of the Balkans where the World Council was trying to help needy churches re-build after the war. So it dispatched Dr. John Mackie, who was at the time an officer with the WCC and the president of the Church of Scotland. Accompanying him were two other pastors, both of whom came from a fairly conservative, pietistic denomination. One afternoon they paid a visit to an Orthodox priest in a remote village. The man was clearly thrilled to receive the visit in that he otherwise worked in rather lonely isolation. Immediately upon seating the guests in his study, the priest produced a box of fine Havana cigars and offered one to each of his three guests. Dr. Mackie gingerly took one, bit the end off, lit it, and took a few puffs, saying how fine it was. The other two pastors looked horrified. “No thank you! We do not smoke!” they quickly said. Feeling bad that he maybe had offended the two brothers, the priest wanted to make amends and so left the room only to re-appear with a flagon of his finest wine. Dr. Mackie took a glassful, swirled it, sniffed it like a connoisseur, and then praised its fine quality. Soon he asked for another glass. Meanwhile his traveling companions drew back even more visibly. “No thank you! We do not drink!” they snapped. Well, later when the three returned to their car, the two pastors assailed Mackie. “Here you are an officer with the World Council and the leader of Scotland’s Church and yet you smoke and drink!?” “No, I don’t,” he barked at them. “But somebody in there had to be a Christian!”...
  • Escape from Plato's Cave

    by John Kavanaugh, SJ
    The story of the blind man does, however, ring a bell for anyone who has ever read “The Myth of the Cave” in Plato’s Republic. There we find a story of all humanity chained in a darkened cave throughout life. These captives can see nothing but flickering images on a wall—shadows, appearances, illusions—which they take for reality. One prisoner, liberated from the chains, makes the arduous crawl upward to the world of the shining sun. When he returns to the cave with his tales of the new-found source of light and the life and warmth it gives, the prisoners think him crazy. They simply deny his experience. It just can’t be. The chains and the amusing images on the wall are reality. Thus his conversion is ridiculed; his invitation is resisted. This is how the Greek Plato describes the intellectual assent of the soul to truth. To contemplate divine life is to find freedom; but it is also to encounter opposition from “the evil state of man, misbehaving in a ridiculous manner, arguing over shadows and images.”...
  • Contagious Blindness

    by Jiim McCrea
    in one of his books Tony Campolo tells a story about a time when he was teaching a class and was trying to get a discussion going. He asked the class what some of the world’s great religious leaders might have said about prostitution. They talked about the Buddha’s views, Mohammed’s views, the views expressed in the Torah. Finally, Tony asked the class, “And what do you suppose Jesus would have said to a prostitute?” A Jewish student answered, “Jesus never met a prostitute.” “Yes he did,” Tony shot back. “I’ll show you in the Bible where…” “Doctor,” the student broke in, “you didn’t hear me. I said Jesus never met a prostitute. Do you think that when he looked at Mary Magdalene he saw a prostitute? Do you think he saw [hookers] when he looked at women like her? Doctor, listen to me! Jesus never met a prostitute. He met a daughter of God.” Campolo concluded that the Jewish student understood Christian theology better than he did. Then he added, “To be a Christian is to learn to see people as Christ sees them.”
  • Spit and Mud

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Alabama artist Jimmy Lee Sudduth used mud as paint. Because of the volume of paintings that he created, he wouldn't have used spit for all of them, but he was known to make a little mud to smear across a canvas with his finger in the way that another artist would use a brush. Sudduth's most characteristic mud was what he called "sweet mud." The mud was bound with soft drinks or sugar. Sudduth once claimed he could get more than thirty colors from the dirt and clay around him. Mud can do remarkable things...
  • Now I See

    by Debie Thomas
    Why does the community feel such an urgent need to silence the healed man? I wonder if the core reason is fear. A fear so primal and so deep, it drives away all compassion, all empathy, all tenderness, all sense of kinship. If the man’s blindness isn’t a punishment for sin, then what does that mean about how the world works? Anyone might get sick, or suffer from a disability, or face years of undeserved pain and suffering for no discernible reason whatsoever. That wouldn’t be fair — would it? That would be a version of reality the good religious folks can’t control. A terrifying, destabilizing version. Who among us can bear to surrender the illusion of control?...

Other New Resources

Recommended Resources

{Based on requests from several members (although I am reluctant to do so since my favorites may not be those of others), I am listing here some of my own favorite resources. FWIW!!]
  • At First Sight

    An Illustration
    ("At First Sight is a moving and faithful re-telling of the real story of Virgil and Amy and the peculiar challenges of learning to see when one has never seen before,' notes renowned physician and author Oliver Sacks, who documented the true story on which the film is based as part of his bestselling book An Anthropologist On Mars...")
  • Effects of Blindness

    An Illustration
    ("You might think that with modern medical technology this would no longer be true, but you would be wrong. Neurologist Oliver Sacks, in his book An Anthropologist on Mars, tells the story of Virgil, who received his sight as a mid forties adult...")
  • Simplicity

    Author unknown.
    An illustration on disabilities.
  • Well Cared For

    Author unknown
    An illustration on disabilities.
  • The Blind Accusing the Blind

    by D. Mark Davis
    (lots of Greek exegesis!)
  • Jesus Heals a Blind Man

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("When William Montague Dyke was ten years old, he was blinded in an accident. Despite his disability, William graduated from a university in England with high honors. While he was in school, he fell in love with the daughter of a high-ranking British naval officer, and they became engaged..." and other illustrations)
  • The Man Born Blind

    by Jerry Fuller, OMI
    ("In his novel, Room with a View, E.M. Forster tells of elderly Miss Bartlett. She was quite upset as she and her younger cousin and ward, Miss Lucy Honeychurch, sat down at a late dinner at Signora Bertolini's pensione for English tourists in Florence. They had been promised individual rooms with a view but on their arrival were assigned to rooms facing a back courtyard..." and several other illustrations - recommended!!)
  • Was Blind But Now I See

    by Sil Galvan
    He was born on July 24, 1725 and was an only child. His mother taught him how to read before the age of three and also instructed him in portions of Scripture, catechisms, hymns and religious poems. Later he realized that the things that he was taught as a child had helped keep him from going even deeper into sin than he did. She died just before he turned seven...
  • Goodbye Grover's Corner

    by Terrance Klein
    ("Many of us first visited Grover's Corners when we were in school. Do you remember this scene, from Thorton Wilder's Our Town? Young Emily Webb has married her childhood sweetheart George Gibbs. In fact, when the play skips ahead to Act III, she's borne him a child and died while giving him a second. She's buried on the hill overlooking town, and, as mourners depart, she begins to converse with her mother-in-law, Mrs. Gibbs, also deceased..." well worth a read!!)
  • Lent 4A

    by Bill Loader
    (always good insights!)
  • Exegetical Notes (John 9:1-41)

    by Brian Stoffregen
    (excellent exegesis with numerous quotes from commentaries)
  • Illustrations, Quotes and Lectionary Reflections (Lent 4A)

    by Various Authors
    ("The story is told of ten-year-old Tillie, whose parents had decided to take her to the beach for an exotic Christmas vacation. On Christmas morning she and her mother went out on the beach to wade and collect shells, and Tillie noticed that the sea looked different than it had the day before -- flatter and frothier. Then it dawned on Tillie that she had seen a picture of the sea that looked just like this in her world studies class at school. It was a picture taken in Hawaii years earlier, just before a tsunami crashed ashore..." and many others)

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2017 to 2019

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • The Decolonization of Sin

    by Richard Bryant
    As the psychiatrist and revolutionary Frantz Fanon wrote in The Wretched of the Earth, “Decolonization, which sets out to change the order of the world, is obviously, a program of complete disorder.” Jesus brought complete disorder to the established colonial order centered in Rome and the religious (colonial) order based at the Temple.
  • Twitter, Biz Stone and Limited Vision

    by Jim Chern
    Whether you tweet or not, you probably have heard of Twitter... But more than likely few of you would recognize the name "Biz Stone." Biz Stone and two of his friends were the inventors of Twitter. Back in 2006 they recognized the number of people who have cell-phones had skyrocketed beyond anyone’s imaginations - and thought "imagine if we can create a social networking thing that people could use on their cell phones through text messaging. That’s why twitter is only 140 character messages so that you can send it over text message. Well you guys know the rest of the story (and are helping to write it) The phenomenon of it is only growing. Reportedly, it generates two and half billion dollars a year in revenue... over 100 million users post over 342 million tweets a day...
  • What Are His References?

    by Jim Eaton
    What are his references? That’s a question most of us ask in one way or another from time to time. Employers ask it: no one hires someone without at least trying to find out how they did previously. And the answer doesn’t always have to be positive! I was fired from my first job as a ministerial intern in seminary after a long period of conflict with the senior minister. A while later I began looking for a new job and found a church and minister that really excited me. I told them about my experience, trying to be objective, not trying to hide any of the details; I remember the minister interviewing me saying, “So, you resigned from your last job? I said: No, I was fired. The minister said he didn’t feel a need to check my references, but of course he did, so he did something ministers do under the circumstances: he called a friend in a church nearby. So not long afterward I was called into the senior minister’s office to hear him say, well I decided to do a little checking on you after we talked, so I called a friend who knows the situation in the church where you worked…and he said the guy you worked for is crazy and being fired there is an honor!
  • Jesus, Grace and the Battle for Truth

    by Evan Garner
    I started thinking about Jesse Owens and what he represents to the world. Of course, history remembers him best for his performance in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, at which he won four gold medals, ascending to the top of the medal podium that Adolf Hitler had built for his own Aryan athletes. Initially, Owens was criticized for taking part in the 1936 games because it seemed to lend credence to the Nazi attempt to show the world that everything was just fine under Hitler’s regime, but the result spoke for itself. Two truths collided in those Olympic Games—one a belief that only a racially pure society could rule the world and the other a belief that the best athlete in the world might even be a so-called “colored man” from rural Alabama—and Owens won the gold…four times.
  • We're All Blind

    by Dennis Hamm, SJ
    But if we need to learn to see on the physical level, we know very well that there are still other levels of seeing that require learning. “You see what you're trained to see,” I recall a sociology teacher repeating over and over. Think of what a few savvy remarks from Sister Wendy can do to your ability to see new dimensions in a familiar painting. Think how the observations of the color commentator help you realize you didn't fully see what was going on a moment ago on the tenth yard-line. A physician's diagnosis lets us know that he sees something in Uncle Joe's complexion that we didn't catch.
  • Lent 4A (2017)

    by Scott Hoezee
    In a memorable story, William Willimon tells us that years ago he was the pastor of a medium-sized suburban church. Every week during the church season he led the women’s Bible study group and always enjoyed the gathering of those saintly pillars of the congregation, most of whom were well into their retirement years. One week the topic of discussion was temptation. So Rev. Willimon led the ladies in a review on the nature of temptation and how to rely on God to resist it. Then he asked that most typical of all Bible study-like questions, “Does anyone want to share a story of a time you felt tempted but were aided by God’s strength?” One kindly soul piped up to say, “Yes, Reverend, I have one. It was quiet for a moment before Chelsea cleared her throat and said, “A couple of years ago my boyfriend and me were big into cocaine. Well, you know how that stuff messes with your head! So one day we’re in the pharmacy and my boyfriend all of a sudden decides to tell the cashier to give him all the money in the cash register...
  • Jesus and the Man Born Blind from Birth

    by Janet Hunt
    I punched in the security code at the front door of ‘Pine Acres’ and mistakenly turned right instead of left. This meant that I found myself passing by twice as many people as I normally would on such an errand. Some of them stared vacantly from their wheelchairs as they waited to be rolled to dinner or back to their rooms. Others looked up pleadingly, perhaps hopeful that I was someone arriving just for them. Or maybe not really caring if I was ‘meant’ for them at all, but just hoping to be noticed. To be “seen.” While I usually try to offer a pleasant ‘hello’ when I walk that hallway, I know that it is easy to rush by and only see wheelchairs. It is far too easy to not look long enough to see the human being sitting there with all of his or her complexity.
  • Light!

    by Kirk Kubicek
    In Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the protagonist is Jean Valjean – who is forever called by his prison number, 24601. A person reduced to a number. The stage version of the story depicts prisoner 24601 as a complex character. Is he just a thief, plain and simple? Is he a victim of an unfair system of justice? Is he a compassionate businessman and mayor? A benevolent step-father? A valiant revolutionary of the Paris Uprising of 1832? A compassionate liberator of his most persistent enemy, Inspector Javert? Or, in his own words, is he “no better and no worse than any other man”? Just as Hugo attempts to shed light on the complexities of post-Revolutionary France, so the Jesus in John seeks to shed light on all sorts and conditions of humankind – and the artificial and often arbitrary ways in which we treat others – especially others who are not at all like ourselves...
  • On Being Found

    by Karoline Lewis
    It seems that grace upon grace is possible simply when Jesus is present. And it also seems that Jesus counts on us to bring that presence to others. Grace upon grace happens in those one-on-one moments in ministry you know so well. Grace upon grace happens when the last person you thought was paying attention says, “I heard Jesus in your sermon today, Pastor.” Grace upon grace happens when someone says, “Pastor, that is exactly what I needed this morning.” Grace upon grace happens because they feel it and you feel it at exactly the same time.
  • Encounters with Jesus: Man Born Blind

    by Jim McCrea
    In 1981, Mount Airy, North Carolina — the town which served as the inspiration for Mayberry, the fictional setting of the old Andy Griffith show — was home to what seems to be a genuine miracle.
    A Mount Airy man named Joseph Sardler was completely blind, having lost the sight in his right eye when he was one and in his left eye when he was about 26. Then one night he was walking down the basement stairs and tripped over his dog's dish. He fell hard and cracked his head against the cinder block wall at the foot of the stairs. He was dazed, of course, but as he gazed up, he realized that he was looking at the big old gray furnace. Suddenly, he could see! He said, “It’s a miracle. It’s nothing else but a miracle, that is all I can say. I just thank God for giving me my sight back.”
  • Issues of Seeing and Recognizing

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    Artist Chuck Close has made his reputation painting faces in large format. His own face is among his most frequent subjects. His earliest works are photographically real. The faces are recognizable -- so photographically real that the individuals would be recognizable by strangers, even, As his work develops, though, the faces begin to dissolve and fragment. The practice of gridding, often used by artists to keep proportion correct when enlarging, comes to the front of the portrait's appearance and becomes, even more than the subject's facial features, the driving force of the portrait's structure.
  • On Being Blind

    by Steve Pankey
    On Wednesday mornings, SBC’s preschool has an 8:30 chapel service. The lesson for this morning was an excerpt of Sunday’s Gospel lesson about the man born blind. To illustrate that story, the School Director told the story of Fanny Crosby, a prolific poet and hymn writer who became blind at a very young age. at age 8, Fanny wrote her first poems, which often focused on her condition. She wrote, Oh, what a happy soul I am, although I cannot see! I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy That other people don’t, To weep and sigh because I’m blind I cannot, and I won’t! (1)
  • I Was Blind But Now I See

    by Larry Patten
    In Annie Dillard’s “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” (one of the books I’d want with me if stranded on the proverbial desert island), she writes about those who first received cataract surgery in the early twentieth century after a life of blindness. They’d spent years in darkness . . . One girl was eager to tell her blind friend that “men do not really look like trees at all,” and astounded to dis­cover that her every vis­i­tor had an utterly different face. Finally, a twenty-two-year-old girl was daz­zled by the world’s brightness and kept her eyes shut for two weeks. When at the end of that time she opened her eyes, she did not rec­og­nize any objects, but, “the more she directed her gaze upon every­thing about her, the more it could be seen how an expres­sion of aston­ish­ment and grat­i­fi­ca­tion over­spread her fea­tures; she repeat­edly exclaimed: ‘Oh God, how beau­ti­ful!’”
  • How Do You See?

    by Tuhina Rasche
    I value the connections I’ve made over social media, but at the same time, I wonder how to reconnect and engage with the world which lies beyond the screen of my phone. I am experiencing the tension of seeing the world in new and different ways, but at the same time, I wonder if I truly “see” my neighbor in the midst of additional noise and distractions. Do I see the beauty of the image of God in my neighbor in online and in embodied spaces?
  • Small Hearts, Big Bucks

    by Nancy Rockwell
    Healing the man born blind will, in fact, cost the town something. With his sight restored, this young man will have a right to a place in the local economy, he can take over a niche of earnings someone else has presumably been pocketing. He can compete now, as well as earn. Everyone else will have to move over a bit, and share, perhaps uncomfortably, with this newly-sighted man who has a right to earn. He will no longer have to settle for a blind man’s spare change in a cup. So healing isn’t just about the cost of medicine and doctors. There is a cost to wellness, and a convenient pocketing of riches when you don’t have to share with others, who are poor because they are sick.
  • Purgatory as Seeing Fully for the First Time

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    Imagine being born blind and living into adulthood without ever having seen light and color. Then, through some miraculous operation, doctors are able to give you sight. What would you feel immediately upon opening your eyes? Here is how JZ Young, an authority on brain function, describes what happens: The patient on opening his eyes gets little or no enjoyment; indeed, he finds the experience painful. He reports only a spinning mass of light and colors. He proves to be quite unable to pick up objects by sight, to recognize what they are, or to name them. He has no conception of space with objects in it, although he knows all about objects and their names by touch.
  • I Once Was Blind But Now I See

    by David Russell
    A few years ago a man named Jerry Farrell had a teenaged son who threw a beer party. Since he was underaged, the boy and his friends broke the law. But the police didn’t arrest just the teens. They went after Jerry too. He was arrested, fingerprinted, and charged. Farrell was shocked. “I hadn’t done anything wrong,” he complained. “I didn’t even know [my son] had friends over.” Lack of knowledge about the drinking did not get Farrell off. Under a parental responsibility law in his community, whether or not a parent knows his or her child broke a law doesn’t matter. The parent is held accountable...
  • Lent 4A

    from Sacra Conversazione
    Paul Ricoeur occasionally applied his complex, fruitful ideas about human knowledge and language to the specific task of interpreting biblical texts. He argued for retrieving the “profound” or “existential” experience which inspired the text in the first place. Each interpreter should seek the universal human experience that inspired the text to be written, not narrow polemical, moral or theological concepts. Taking Ricoeur’s approach to this passage from John, we might ask: what is the concrete, universal human experience which I can recognize, even in my own experience, to which this story is testifying?
  • But Now I See

    by David Sellery
    How is your vision? When was the last time you had a checkup? Sure the input hitting your optic nerve may be 20/20… but what do you see? Do you see people in need as a nuisance? Do you even see them at all? Is your day filled with opportunities to praise God and serve your neighbor? Or is it a self-centered blur… full of fuzzy good intentions you’ll get to later? Jesus has a cure for all of our vision problems. He wants us to see the world through his eyes… the eyes of faith… and what a vision it is.
  • Born Blind

    by Melissa Bane Sevier
    Near the end of the program, the speaker, a leader in the state NAACP, allows time for questions and comments. Lanier, who is the only African American in the room besides the speaker, stands. SueAnn is sitting next to her, and she can see Lanier’s hands shaking as she speaks. That’s a surprise. Lanier tells about her son Ray, who got his driver’s license about a year ago. Since that time, he has been pulled over by the police nine times. In none of those traffic stops was he charged with anything. She is afraid every time he walks out the door with the car keys that someone will take a dislike to him for no good reason.
  • Why Did God Allow That to Happen?

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    I recall a humbling episode from a British movie entitled, "Whistle in the Wind." A group of kids had experienced the death of their pet kitten. They had prayed fervently that the cat would get well, but instead it died. They couldn't understand this. So, they went in search of the local vicar or pastor. They found him in a teashop, taking a morning break, enjoying his tea and newspaper. They asked him, "Why did God let our cat die?" The good pastor was not delighted to be interrupted with the matter of a deceased cat. But out of duty he laid aside his paper and launched into a long, complex, theological response to this question. The children stood and listened intently. When he finished he wished them well and went back to his newspaper. The children walked away somewhat bewildered. One little boy, holding his older sister's hand, looked up at her and said, "He doesn't know, does he?"
  • Treating Terrorists

    by Peter Thompson
    The day after this week’s attack in London, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spoke in the House of Lords, a legislative component of the British government. He told the assembled, still numb in shock from the unexpected events of the day before, that he wanted to offer them three pictures. The first, he said, was “of a vehicle being driven across Westminster Bridge by someone who had a perverted, nihilistic, despairing view of objectives of what life is about, of what society is about, that could only be fulfilled by death and destruction.” The second, he said, was “of that same person a few minutes later, on a stretcher or on the ground, being treated by the very people he had sought to kill.” The third, he added, was “of these two Houses [of Parliament], where profound disagreement, bitter disagreement, angry disagreement is dealt with not with violence, not with despair, not with cruelty, but with discussion, with reason and with calmness…Those three pictures [he continued] point us to deep values within our own society” that come from a narrative that has been “within our society for almost 2000 years,” a narrative that “speaks of a God who stands with the suffering, and brings justice, and whose resurrection has given to believer and unbeliever the sense that where we do what is right, where we behave properly; where that generosity and extraordinary sense of duty that leads people to treat a terrorist is shown…that there is a victory for what is right and good; over what is evil, despairing and bad.
  • The Politics of Overcoming Sacrifice

    by Fritz Wendt
    French social commentator and philosopher, René Girard, says that all human societies are characterized by an unbearable tension that is born of the conflict of desire. Desire leads to competition, rivalry, and conflict, and Girard holds that scapegoating becomes the “solution”. A person or group is blamed for the crisis, and then is persecuted and sacrificed. Once a victim is found, the community has created a social “glue” that gives them cohesiveness and peace. This peace, achieved by violence, is unstable and false because it requires constant denial.

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2014 to 2016

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Was Blind But Now I See

    by Luke Bouman
    ("I am reminded of the poignant, bitter, ending to the story line of the dwarves in C. S. Lewis' classic Chronicles of Narnia. In the last book, the dwarves, who had mostly been Aslan's loyal Narnians, have tired of waiting for Aslan to make all things right in their world. They had been disappointed one too many times. So when Aslan finally does return, though in an unexpected way, they refuse to be taken in..." and another illustration)
  • With Electrodes Implanted In The Retina, Blind Patient Can Read

    by Rebecca Boyd
    A new eye prosthetic can download electrical data right into a blind person's retina, bypassing a camera and placing digital information right onto the nerve cells. A blind patient who used the device could read Braille patterns in less than a second, according to Swiss researchers...")(See more on the Argus II here..)
  • Lent 4A (2014)

    by Delmer Chilton
    ("A few weeks ago my mother called me with what she calls 'a preacher question'. She said, Help me know what to tell Bill Smith's grandsons. He was 61, died this week. They're 6 and 9 and always sit with me in church. They want to know why God killed Grandpa. What do I tell them?'...")
  • Breaking Barriers

    by Tom Cox
    ("Take the Gospel of this Sunday. It is clear that Jesus the Light confronts two kinds of blindness: blindness that knows it cannot see, and blindness that thinks it can. The former he has healed; before the latter, he stands helpless. It's no harm to wonder: before what would he stand helpless in our modern world?...")
  • Glimpses of Glory

    by Scott Grant
    ("Simone Weil, the French philosopher who was reared as an atheist, writes of discovering a poem called "Love" by George Herbert. She learned the poem by heart and, at the culminating point of one of her frequent and violent headaches, she would recite it: 'I used to think I was merely reciting it as a beautiful poem, but without my knowing it the recitation had the virtue of a prayer...")
  • Seeing and Believing

    by Janet Hunt
    ("I was six years old and had just learned to read. A whole new world had opened up to me then and I couldn't get enough of it. I read everything I could lay my hands on at home and everything I could lay my eyes on out in the world. I can remember being in the back of the family station wagon one day and looking out at a world whose written symbols suddenly held meaning for me...")
  • The Man Born Blind

    by Nancy Rockwell
    ("Andrew Solomon, in his 2012 book Far From the Tree, explores the startling proposition that being exceptional is at the core of the human condition—that difference is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, or multiple severe disabilities; with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender....")
  • Purgatory as Seeing Fully for the First Time

    by Ron Rolheiser, OMI
    ("What happens when a person receives his sight for the first time might surprise us. Here is how J. Z. Young, an authority on brain function, describes what happens: 'The patient on opening his eyes gets little or no enjoyment; indeed, he finds the experience painful. He reports only a spinning mass of light and colors. He proves to be quite unable to pick up objects by sight, to recognize what they are, or to name them. He has no conception of space with objects in it, although he knows all about objects and their names by touch...")
  • Was Blind But Now I See

    by Dennis Sepper
    ("At 14 years old, Lisa Reid and her family had a hard decision to make. Lisa had a cancerous brain tumor that was causing her headaches, vomiting and loss of coordination. Her only choice was a delicate operation to remove the tumor and save her life. However, as a consequence of the surgery Lisa's optic nerves were damaged and she became blind. Deciding not to let her blindness hold her down, Lisa became a poster child for children with cancer...")
  • The Blind Man Who Knew Too Much

    by Duane Steele
    (This gospel passage through the "eyes" of a blind pastor.)
  • To See With the Third Eye, WIth the Eye of the Heart

    by Robert Stuhlmann
    ("Herbert O'Driscoll when he was at the College of Preachers in Washington, DC, told us that we can see Jesus as a template, a transparent image who we place between ourselves and the people and situations we meet. I used the image one Sunday and a woman came up to me after the service. 'I have to be in a situation I dread tomorrow. I recently began to work with a re-constructive surgeon. Tomorrow I have to meet a man who tried to kill himself with a gun and destroyed part of his face...")
  • Mud Makeovers

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Kids know mud is good. Whether squished between the toes, splashed up from a big puddle, or patted into inedible but indelible 'pies', mud attracts little children as quickly as cupcakes and puppies. For all of us, after the frozen frostiness of this past Winter, who isn't looking forward to the Spring softening of hard, unyielding ground. There is something elemental, even primeval about mud....")
  • Was Blind But Now I See

    by Keith Wagner
    ("Louis was a nine-year old sitting in his father's harness make's shop in France in the 1818. The boy loved to watch his father work with leather. 'Someday, Father,' said Louis, 'I want to be a harness-maker, just like you'. 'Why not start now?' said his father, taking a piece of leather and drawing a design on it. 'Now, my son,' he said, 'take the hole-puncher and hammer and follow this design. Be careful that you don't hit your hand..." and other illustrations)
  • Movies/Scenes Representing Healing

    Compiled by Jenee Woodard

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2011 to 2013

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Lent 4A (2011)

    by Matthew Myer Boulton
    ("Three centuries ago in the village of Olney, England, a new parish priest came to town. The townsfolk flocked to hear him, fascinated with his vibrant, personal style of preaching and his checkered past as a slave trader. In those days learned clergy frequently wrote original verses for congregational singing, and the priest at Olney wrote in a testimonial, plainspoken style...")
  • Lent 4A (2011)

    by Luke Bouman
    ("Jason watched in horror as the twins, the resident bullies at Park Jr. High, once again went after their favorite victim. He was too far away to help. Sandy stood cowering before the twins, reduced once again to tears in the hallway between classes. Her crime at the tender age of 13 was that she had been born legally blind, yet had the tenacity to come to school to act like any other student...")
  • Seeing for the First Time

    by Carl Gregg
    ("Ray Charles, who died in 2004, was a charismatic, brilliant, driven, and immensely-talented singer-songwriter and performer. He will be remembered for all these traits. He will also be remembered because he accomplished so much in his long career and he did it all as a blind man..." recommended!!)
  • The Search for Sight

    by Danny Hall
    ("I'm a big sports fan. When we were living in Europe, believe it or not, I got interested in cricket. It's a rather obscure game for us Americans. But the more I watched it, the more I was sure I had at least a basic understanding of it. Then a man in our church gave me a book called Cricket for Americans. I began to read this book, just fascinated, and I realized that I hadn't understood any of it. When I watched the game again, my eyes were opened in a whole new way...")
  • Blind That I May See

    by Denis Hanly, MM
    I was only seventeen years old, working on an oil tanker with all these tough guys, but they took good care of me. I came home. You know, the tankers, when they pull into port, only stay for maybe one or two days, because they’re all small tankers, so I ran home. And I walked in and my mother met me at the door and she says, “Now, Denis, I’m going to introduce you to a very lovely lady. She’s sitting in the living room. She’s just a little different.” I said, “That’s okay.” Florette and I got to be fairly good friends in the short time I was home, and she herself told me her story. I said to her when we were quietly at some point, I said, “How did you become blind? Were you born blind?’ She said, “No, I was living in Harlem, and it was a tough neighbourhood and I got into a little difficulty. But it wasn’t my fault, it was the lady I lived with. And one day I walked out of my house and this man took acid, a little vial of acid, and threw it in my eyes and from that time I was blind.” And I said, “That’s terrible.” And she said, “Yes, it is. Because I took it and I was so angry. And I wouldn’t leave the house, I just stayed in the house...
  • Lent 4A (2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("in a scene from the chilling film Unforgiven, a young gun-slinger from the Old West is trying to convince himself he did nothing wrong in having just shot another man dead...")
  • The Man with No Name

    by Larry Patten
    ("In the spaghetti westerns that established Clint Eastwood as a global star, his characters were known as 'the man with no name'. The credits listed names, like Blondie in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly or Joe in a Fistful of Dollars, but Eastwood's antiheroes were really anonymous drifters, like high plains wraiths without a past or future...")
  • A Tender and Grimy Grace

    by Jan Richardson
    ("Lest we think the blessing is not in the dirt. Lest we think the blessing is not in the earth beneath our feet. Lest we think the blessing is not in the dust like the dust that God scooped up at the beginning and formed with God's two hands and breathed into with God's own breath....")
  • Blindness of the Heart

    by Wiley Stephens
    ("We might ask, 'Are the Pharisees not more handicapped by blindness than the man who was healed?' for this is a story of two kinds of blindness. One is physical--it's a tragedy--but one that can be dealt with through courage, determination, and education. It calls for our support through research, compassion, and consideration. The other is spiritual, for which there is no excuse...")
  • Get Down and Dirty for Lent

    Sermon Starter by Leonard Sweet
    ("Unless you have lived in a rural area, you might not know the joys of keeping that most unruly, unpredictable, but absolutely crucial-to-life "pet" known as . . . a septic tank. There are some unbendable rules for septic tanks. They will always back up the day your daughter's wedding reception is being held in your back yard...")
  • Lent 4A (2011)

    by Martin Warner
    ("In the film Into Great Silence, it is no accident that an old man who is blind is the one who speaks. He sees with a clarity that we, the watchers of the film, might struggle to achieve. 'Why be afraid of death?" he asks, gently and with a wry smile. "It is the future of all humans. The closer one brings oneself to God, the happier one is.'...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from 2008 to 2010

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Asking the Wrong Questions

    by Mickey Anders
    ("Perhaps our friends will use the famous illustration of Thorton Wilder from his book The Eighth Day, where he compares life to a beautiful tapestry: 'Looked at from the right side, it is an intricately woven work of art, drawing together threads of different lengths and colors to make up an inspiring picture. But turn the tapestry over, and you will see a hodgepodge of many threads...")
  • Small Gesture with Enormous Promise

    by Phil Bloom
    ("A popular movie illustrates the paradox about blindness and vision. The film is titled Juno after its principal character. Juno is a high school girl who gets pregnant and, after talking with her boyfriend, decides to 'nip it in the bud'....")
  • Who Sinned That This Child Was Born Uninsurable

    by Gunnar Cerda
    ("My son, Benjamin, is a great kid. He is smart. He has a great sense of humor. He loves slapstick humor and NASCAR. In 7th grade this year he is in advanced science and advanced math. He has the potential to be an actuary or an aeronautical engineer when he grows up. Benjamin also has an Individualized Education Plan. For despite his gifts in science and math, he struggles profoundly with receptive and expressive language skills. Benjamin has Aspergers Syndrome...")
  • Betwixt This World and That of Grace

    by Daniel Clendenin
    ("George Herbert's poem Affliction (IV) is a masterful confession of one's own blindness and inner struggles. It's a perfect prayer for the Lenten season: 'Broken in pieces all asunder, Lord, hunt me not,...")
  • Mud of the Lamb

    by Daniel Deffinbaugh
    ("A story is told of the Buddha who when asked by one of his disciples to describe the human condition likened it to a man walking through the forest who is struck by an arrow...")
  • Lent 4A (2008)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was this boy, a senior in college who had a total crush on a young woman who was a junior. She was totally gorgeous and very smart and also very nice...")
  • Here's Mud in Your Eye

    by Jan Richardson
    ("Reading this text in the context of lectio divina, however, urges me to consider where I find those maddening questioners inside myself. And I feel a measure of compassion for them...")
  • Lent 4A (2008)

    by Judith Schenck
    ("Eddie was the extrovert in the community for the disabled in the assisted living unit. He always plunked himself down right in the middle of where the action was...")
  • Seeing Clearly

    by Keith Wagner
    ("What John wants for us today is to have our own vision restored. He does that by presenting this story with several other characters, each of whom suffers from spiritual blindness. First, there were the disciples. They suffered from the blindness of theological ineptness...")
  • The Man Born Blind

    by Bill Wigmore
    Bill Wilson tells his story in the Big Book. (His story is printed in the first 164 pages so I guess it’ll always be there.) And there’s a part in there when Ebby comes into Bill’s kitchen and he brings him the Good News of his own recovery. Ebby had gotten sober – and now he’d been sent to tell his story to Bill. And because all he did was tell his story and because he didn’t try to preach to him – Bill was able to hear – and it was that day also that Bill began to see. He began to see that if this simple God-program could work for his once-drunken-friend – then maybe there was a chance it’d work for him too. Maybe the Light of God really was powerful enough to overcome his darkness Bill says in his Big Book story: “It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. Bill writes: “It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. “Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough. “At long last --- I saw… I felt …. I believed. Scales of pride and prejudice fell from my eyes. A new world came into view…. And so it has been ever since.” Then Bill adds: “How blind I had been.”
  • Baptism

    by Tim Zingale
    ("Out on the cattle ranches of the West the unbranded calves that roam at large are known as 'mavericks'. They are claimed by the man who is the first to get his brand on them at the annual 'round-up'. A little Western girl had been baptized one Sunday by the Methodist minister of the town...")
  • Baptism As Sign and Power for Living

    by Tim Zingale
    ("There is an animal which lives in Northern Europe that it called an ermine, which is noted for its snow-white fur. The animal will go to great lengths to keep his coat white. Hunters will use this trait of cleanness to capture the animal. Instead of using mechanical traps, the hunters will find the home of the ermine, which is usually a cleft in a rock, a hallow tree, or some other place with a hole, and the hunters will daub the entrance and interior of the house with tar...")
  • Illustrations (Lent 4A)

    by Tim Zingale
    ("A youngster had seen his first baptism. When he got home from church, he announced, 'I saw a boy get 'at pbertized' this morning'. Although he meant to say 'baptized', his comment echoed a basic truth because baptism is one way to advertise one's faith...")
  • Remade!

    by Samuel Zumwalt
    ("I am reminded of an old episode of the Sopranos in which Carmelo, the wife of Tony, the mob boss, goes to see a psychiatrist who happens also to be Jewish. After pouring out her soul to the psychiatrist, he tells her that her whole lifestyle is maintained by the evil acts of her husband...")

Illustrated Resources (and Other Resources of Merit) from the Archives

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)
  • Conversing with a Blind Man

    by Mark Adams
    ("One of the things that Sue and I enjoy is dropping in on art stores. You know...the ones filled with art work that no one can afford to buy? Well, of all the artists whose work is popular enough to hang in these of our favorites is Bev Doolittle...")
  • This One Thing I Know

    by Robert Allred
    ("The most powerful sermon I have heard on the story about Jesus' healing of the man born blind was delivered by Dr. Benjamin Mays. It took place during the height of the Vietnam War student protests. The local controversy called The God Is Dead Movement, had spilled over onto the cover of TIME magazine...")
  • This One Thing I Know

    by Robert Allred
    ("The story is told about a famous Professor of Theology that had lectured at one of our great church related universities. He had evidently cast doubt upon the core of faith and during the question and answer time an elderly preacher got up, took an apple out of his lunch bag and began eating it...")
  • Asking the Wrong Questions

    by Mickey Anders
    ("there is the famous illustration of Thorton Wilder from his book The Eighth Day, where he compares life to a beautiful tapestry. 'Looked at from the right side, it is an intricately woven work of art, drawing together threads of different lengths and colors to make up an inspiring picture. But turn the tapestry over, and you will see a hodgepodge of many threads...")
  • Selective Attention: Love at First Sight, Second Sight, etc.

    by John Auer
    Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times calls Mukhtaran Bibi “one of the gutsiest persons on earth.” She never attended school as a child and lives in a poor, remote village in Pakistan. Kristof writes, “As a part of a village dispute in 2002, a tribal council decided to punish her family by sentencing her to be gang-raped. She begged and cried, but four of her neighbors immediately stripped her and carried out the sentence,” then “made her walk home naked while her father tried to shield her from the eyes of 300 villagers. “Mukhtaran was meant to be so ashamed that she would commit suicide.” Whether or not we mean to, suicide, self-destruction, can be the effect of the “spiritual violence” we do when we speak in the name of God’s judgment to condemn one another to fast and lasting shame at the person we are created, or otherwise forced, in this instance, to be. “But in a society where women are supposed to be soft and helpless,” Kristof continues, “she proved indescribably tough, and she found the courage to live. She demanded the prosecution of her attackers, and six were sent to death row.” (Though just last week the sentences of four of them were reversed, and Mukhtaran lives in fear for her family again. Please see: “She received $8,300 in compensation and used it to start two schools in the village, one for boys and one for girls, because she feels that education is the best way to change attitudes like those that led to the attack on her. Illiterate herself, she then enrolled in her own elementary school.” Amazing!...
  • What the Christian Community Can Offer a Polarized Society

    by Nathan Baxter
    ("I think this is what God says to the church. 'I know you have differences, but you must struggle to resolve them as brothers and sisters. This is what I expect of you because you are my children.' Jesus said it this way in the Gospel of John, 'By this, everyone will know you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.'...")
  • Don't Stay in the Dark

    by Peter J. Blackburn
    ("Sometimes people tease us by not telling us the whole story about something. We complain, 'Don't keep me in the dark!'. Being 'in the dark' is the opposite of being 'in the know'. 'In the dark' we are ignorant, unable to respond properly to a situation or story...")
  • The Promise of Healing

    by Barbara Bundick
    ("After sixty-three years, Wheeler B. Lipes has finally been awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for his acts of bravery during World War II. Lipes was the pharmacist's mate on the Seadragon, a submarine patrolling the South China Sea...")
  • Compassionate Perception

    by Sarah Buteux
    ("You wonder what could cause such blindness. The answer, I believe, lies in today's quote from Swedenborg: 'Where there is no compassion, selfishness is present and particularly a hatred for everyone who does not agree...")
  • Lent 4C (2007)

    by Steve Cooley
    "Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the late Archbishop of Chicago, visited Cardinal John O’Connor of New York in 1993 and the men discussed a rumor that one of America’s Cardinals would soon be accused of a criminal act against a minor. Shortly thereafter he found out it was himself. Steven Cook, a former seminarian in Cincinnati accused him of inappropriate behavior while he was archbishop of that city..."
  • Sin: A Word We Rarely Hear

    by Grant Dillenbeck & Marilyn Richardson
    ("A number of years ago a psychiatrist named Karl Menninger wrote a best-selling book entitled Whatever Became Of Sin? In that book he describes how the concept of sin has fallen into disfavour in both the psychiatric and legal fields...")
  • Lent 4A (2002)

    by Mary G. Durkin
    ("Once upon a time, a group of popular teenagers at a local high school began to ostracize certain people based on the way they dressed or how they talked or if they seemed too studious. Only the 'acceptable' teens were invited to the activities planned by this group...")
  • The Man Born Blind

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("There is a story told by Laura Richards that I found in a book called The Moral Compas. It concerns a meeting between 'The Angel Who Tends To Things' and a man at work - perhaps a man we have met somewhere - sometime...")
  • None So Blind

    by Richard Fairchild
    ("When Fanny Crosby was six weeks old, she had an eye infection. Her regular doctor was out of town, and a man posing as a doctor gave her the wrong treatment. Within a few days, she was totally blind. If that happened to some people, I am afraid they would be very bitter and would probably spend a lifetime feeling sorry for themselves. Fanny was never bitter and she never felt sorry for herself...")
  • Creative Suffering

    by Arthur Ferry Jr.
    ("I recently read an interview with a doctor who works with people who have Hansens disease, or leprosy, one of the cruelest diseases there is, in that people can not even feel their pain, and so go about mutilating their bodies because their bodies' warning system, namely pain, does not function for them. he was asked whether the suffering of these people had, in general, turned them toward God or away from God...")
  • Do You Believe in the Son of Man?

    by Frank Fisher
    ("Pastor Denning was talking to a class of eight year olds about things money can't buy. 'It can't buy laughter,' he told them. 'That comes from the soul. And it can't buy love.'...")
  • Lent 4A (2005)

    by Ann Fontaine
    ("Here is one of my favorite reflections on the Man Born Blind - the gospel for this week found in John 9. It is from Stories of Faith by John Shea: 'Another time, Jesus smeared God like mud on the eyes of a man born blind and pushed him toward the pool of Siloam...")
  • I Was Blind But Now I See

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("Sherlock Holmes, the great detective who had solved many mysteries, and Dr. Watson, his companion, went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night and went to sleep...")
  • Tragedy and Trust

    by Vince Gerhardy
    ("The writer of the hymn Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine! was Fanny Crosby. She was blind from her earliest babyhood as a result of an accident. When she was only eight years old, she wrote this little rhyme, 'Oh, what a happy child I am, although I cannot see...")
  • Lent 4B (2006)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time a man named Dean Acheson who had served in the Roosevelt administration was called back to serve in the Truman administration. A friend of his was Alger Hiss who turned out to have been a highly placed Communist spy in late nineteen thirties and the early nineteen forties...")
  • Lent 4A (1996)

    by Andrew Greeley
    ("Once upon a time there was a woman who was a cynic. Even as a little girl, she was suspicious of everyone and trusted no one. Every body, she figured, had an angle, a hidden agenda, a trick up their sleeve. Someone told her when she was fourteen that she was a paranoid...")
  • Here's Mud in Your Eye!

    by Peter Haynes
    ("Perhaps you've seen the movie The Miracle Worker, or the stage version, which tells the true story of how a teacher named Anne Sullivan helped transform Helen's life...")
  • The Gift of Sight

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("In a scene from the chilling film Unforgiven, a young gun-slinger from the Old West is trying to convince himself he did nothing wrong in having just shot another man dead. 'Well,' he nervously muses aloud, 'I reckon he had it coming to him....")
  • Choosing Blindness

    by Don Hoffman
    ("Dr. Edgar Mitchell was a NASA astronaut. He traveled into space on the Apollo 14 mission, and he was the sixth person to walk on the moon. But after he got out of NASA, in the early 1970's, he began to study psychic phenomena...")
  • Paradise Lost and Found. On The Way: "A Blind Man"

    by John Jewell
    ("An ancient Greek fable tells the story of people who had lived in caves beneath earth's surface for generations. Living conditions on the surface demanded this sub-terranian lifestyle. But -- there was always a longing within the people for the light...")
  • Lent 4A (1996)

    by Beth Johnston
    Martin Luther King became a Baptist minister and went to be the minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. He became involved in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. He did not want it, but he was drawn into it by his call to service. It wasn't what he wanted: he wanted to be a good preacher, a scholar and perhaps even a seminary president. One night, when the boycott was not going well, with bickering in the ranks of the participants and threats of violence from their enemies, King received a phone call. Standing in the parsonage kitchen, tired, down, defeated, he heard an angry voice say, "You better get out of town nigger or we're going to kill you." The threat threw King into the depths of despair. He was so young, so afraid, and he said to God, "I just can't go on!" Then he heard a voice, "Martin, stand up for right, stand up for justice, and I will never ever leave you!" Whenever any study of history is made there are many many instances and examples where those least qualified and least likely to succeed are the ones who do lead and who do succeed.
  • There Is Seeing and Then There Is SEEING!

    by Beth Johnston
    "I love watching the various versions of CSI TV show, short for Crime Scene Investigation. It has an original version, a New York Version and a Miami version..."
  • New Eyes for Seeing

    by Fred Kane
    "A man drove a cab twenty years ago for a living. He says: "It was a cowboy's life, a life for someone who wanted no boss. What I didn't realize was that it was also a ministry..."
  • Storm Children

    by Jeffrey London
    One of my favorite Garrison Keillor stories is the story of the storm home and the storm child. Keillor begins the tale by saying that the principal of his school was fearful that a winter blizzard might strand at school the kids who lived in the country. So he assigned them all a "storm home" in town just in case. If a blizzard struck, each child was to go to his storm home. Keillor recalls his storm home vividly. He remembers it being a house near a lake inhabited by a kindly older couple. The grounds around the house were filled with all sorts of colorful and fragrant flowers. Keillor also recalls that his storm home had a statue of Mary among the flowers, thus suggesting to him these fine folks were Catholic. Given Keillor's Lutheran upbringing, he remembers wondering how a Protestant boy would manage in a Catholic home. Nevertheless, his imagination led him to envision what it would be like to spend the night in his very own storm home; what it would be like to be a storm child. Keillor even imagined the kindly older couple somehow choosing him: "That one!" they would have said as they pointed at the young Keillor. "We want that boy! The one with the thick glasses!" There was no great storm that year, no blizzard that would have led to the need of a storm home. Still, Keillor anticipated the possibility of spending the night in his very own storm home...
  • Blindness

    by Edward Markquart
    ("I love that song by Bob Dylan BLOWIN IN THE WIND. 'How many times will a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn't see?..." also includes a dramatic reading of this text)
  • Blind Together

    by David Martyn
    ("Noah benShea's book, Jacob the Baker, Gentle Wisdom for a Complicated World, tells this story. A neighbour of Jacob's needed to start a journey, but it was the middle of the night. Afraid to begin, afraid not to begin, he came to Jacob. 'There is no light on the path,' he complained. 'Take someone with you,' counselled Jacob...")
  • Seeing Love

    by David Martyn
    ("Born in a poor town in Georgia, Ray Charles went blind from Pediatric glaucoma at the age of seven shortly after seeing or not seeing his younger brother's accidental death...")
  • Seeing See-Saw

    by Jim McCrea
    ("In 1998, the Nobel prize for Literature was given to Portuguese author José Saramago for his novel Blindness, which is the story of an unusual epidemic that suddenly sweeps an unnamed country. The epidemic is one of blindness, but not a blindness as we usually think of it...")
  • Move On

    by Scott McKnight
    ("We need what John Howard Yoder calls the 'politics of Jesus' and what Stanley Hauerwas calls the 'peaceable kingdom'. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says it well:...")
  • Opportunities in the Master's Hands

    by Harold McNabb
    ("Journalist David Hajdu recently told a memorable story about Wynton Marsalis, one of the most easily recognizable jazz musicians in our day and one of the premier jazz trumpeters of all time. One night, Marsalis was playing with a small, little-known combo in a New York basement club...")
  • Sermon in a Minute

    by Steven Molin
    Have you ever observed a miracle; a bone fide, honest to goodness miracle? I have. When Marsha and I were first married, her parents had been asked to take in two foster children because their mother had an inoperable form or cancer. It was rampant in her body, and since she only had weeks to live, the girls had already begun spending some weekends at my in-laws home. All of that didn’t stop this woman, and her church friends, and Marsha’s family from praying for a healing; they did pray, but they also prepared for the worst. And then one day Mrs. Weeks went to the doctor for a sort of final exam, and the cancer was gone. Not just better, not just in remission, but gone, without a trace. The doctor was speechless. He had no medical explanation for what he was seeing with his own eyes. But the patient did; she firmly believed that Jesus had healed her. And everyone who knew her and her circumstance was astonished...
  • Together in Love

    by Carol Mumford
    ("There's another e-mail I just got that illustrates this better than I can say it. It tells of a young boy who takes off to meet God. He knows it's a long trip to where God lives, so he packs his suitcase full of Twinkies and a 6 pack of root beer, and leaves on his journey...")
  • Lent 4A (2002)

    by Joe Parrish
    ("The innovative genius Buckminster Fuller attributed his talents to his experience of blindness as a small child. He was completely blind for several years but regained his sight a few years later just as quickly as he had lost it....")
  • Keeping Our Eyes Open

    by John Pavelko
    ("On an ABC New Special In the Name of God, Peter Jennings interviewed the founder of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, John Wimber. Wimber said that the first time he went to church he expected dramatic things to happen...")
  • Lion King: Blinded

    by Beth Quick
    ("Today our song from The Lion King is They Live in You. This beautiful song appears twice in the musical, with slight variations. First, Mufasa sings this song to his son Simba, trying to teach him about the responsibilities he will someday have as leader in the Pridelands. Mufasa sings the song to remind Simba that his ancestors live with and in him...")
  • Poirot or Corot: On Asking the Right Questions

    by J. Barrie Shepherd
    ("Unlike Ercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's immortal little Belgian detective, who is forever seeking out what's wrong, precisely what crime has been committed and how, and who, then, must be pursued, prosecuted and punished...")
  • Lent 4A (2005)

    by Benjamin Sim, SJ
    ("Mark Link wrote about the experiences of blindness of two other men. The first one is Jack Abbot, who spent all but one year of his life in reform schools and prisons since he was 12. And about 15 of these years have been spent in solitary confinement...")
  • Here's Mud in Your Eye

    by James Standiford
    ("Tatyana Tolstaya in her short story, See the Other Side tells of visiting a church in Ravenna, Italy, to see its ceiling mosaic of heaven. The problem is it is so dark in the church visitors have to pay 300 lira, about 25 cents, for the mosaic to be illuminated for a few moments...")
  • Here's Mud In Your Eye

    by Billy D. Strayhorn
    ("There's an old story about Arnold Palmer. It seems he was invited to come to a convention of blind golfers. He was curious and asked the golfers how they knew what direction to hit the ball...")
  • The Gift of Sight

    by Alex Thomas
    ("There is a story told by Harry Emerson Fosdick in the Twelve Tests Of Character about a young man who announced to his friend, 'Mr. Jones is the most brilliant man I ever knew. He remembers every card that I held at bridge last week...")
  • A New Way of Seeing

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Joseph Donders in a book Christ the Divine Network tells the story of four people from the up-country who came to the city of Nairobi. He begins by saying that they came from a very small place, in fact it was hardly a place at all...")
  • Spiritual Spectacles

    by Karl Travis
    ("God doesn't send us more than we can handle. Of all the simple sayings of the Christian faith, I most wish we could reconsider this one. It suggests that God intentionally sends us hardships, tragedy...")
  • The Blinding and Illuminating Light

    by Leonard J. Vander Zee
    ("My wife Jeanne teaches drawing. The problem with learning to draw is not correctly placing the lines, but how you see. So, she sometimes uses a technique many others use...")
  • Fourth Sunday of Lent

    by Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson
    ("One year a rural community was suffering from a terrible drought and their crops--their livlihood--were threatened. The pastor told his flock, 'There isn't anything that will save us except a special litany for rain. Go to your homes, fast every day from sunrise to sunset, believe that God will answer our prayers, and come on Sunday for the litany of rain.'...")

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2005 to 2007

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 2002 to 2004

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from 1999 to 2001

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Other Resources from the Archives

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Children's Resources

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

The Classics

(In order to avoid losing your place on this page when viewing a different link, I would suggest that you right click on that link with your mouse and select “open in a new tabâ€. Then, when you have finished reading that link, close the tab and you will return to where you left off on this page. FWIW!)

Recursos en Español

Currently Unavailable

  • Cuaresma 4

    (de Renew Internacional)
  • Finding Fault

    by David Russell
    ("Tennessee had just lost to Notre Dame for a trip to the Final Four. Before this, they had never lost to Notre Dame – they had beaten the Fighting Irish 20 times in a row. I heard Pat Summit on the radio, and it almost sounded like someone had died. It was catastrophic. The players had failed miserably. 'I hate this for our program,' Summit said..." and other illustrations)
  • When the Miscellaneous Masks the Miraculous

    by Jeeva Sam
    ("In 1609, an Italian mathematician and physicist named Galileo began observing the heavens through a new invention known as the telescope and came to the conclusion that, contrary to Aristotle's theory, the earth was not the center of the universe...")
  • From Blind to Sight

    by Jared Tucher
  • Lent 4

    by Thomas Watson
  • Seeing Our Things Differently

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Keith Miller in his book Habitations of Dragons tells of a friend of his who visited England and the Continent. He went to Aldersgate Street where John Wesley's 'heart was strangely warmed', to Wittenberg and to Rome where Luther's incisive turnings took place..." and another quote)
  • A New Awareness

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Frederick Buechner in a note on Art included in his book on daily meditations Listening to Your Life has this to say: 'Rembrandt puts a frame around an old woman's face....")
  • Coloring Page

    by Gordon Bannon
  • Time for the Long Breath

    by Anne Howard
    ("I think of Richard Rohr teaching us that the Hebrew name for God, the sacred name that is traditionally never to be spoken, is made of consonants: in English it would read, YHWH. When we add consonants, we say Yahweh. These are the only consonants in the Hebrew language that don't allow you to close your lips when you say them. The ancients in their wisdom gave God a name of mystery, a name that replicates inhalation and exhalation Yaaah Weyyyh...")
  • The Blind Leading the Blind

    by Michael Kennedy
  • Honoring the Body: Meditations on a Christian Practice

    by Stephanie Paulsell
    ("In this world there is more to honoring the body than keeping it clean and dry…. In this world, when the body is honored, the whole person is honored. And when the body is dishonored, the whole person is harmed...")
  • Cancer, AIDS and Hurricane Georges

    by W. Maynard Pittendreigh, Jr.
  • Lent 4

    by John Pridmore
  • Don't Miss This!

    by Jim Chern
    ("Things happen and at times we miss whatever the it is: There are times we need to "excuse" ourselves after having a few beverages; other commitments might have prevented you from being able to go out with your friends; and how were you to know that if you had skipped that class or cancelled that appointment that you might just bump into a celebrity?...")
  • The Landscape of Lent: Mud

    by David Russell
    ("The renowned artist Paul Gustav Doré once lost his passport while traveling in Europe. When he came to a border crossing, he explained his predicament to one of the border guards. He hoped he would be recognized and allowed to pass. The guard said sorry, people try this all the time. Doré insisted he was who he claimed to be. The guard said, all right, we'll give you a test, and if you pass it we will allow you to go through...")
  • Beginning to See

    by Alex Thomas
    ("Helen Keller once wrote a magazine article entitled Three days to see. In that article, she outlined what things she would like to see if she were granted just three days of sight. On the first day she said she wanted to see friends. Day two she would spend seeing nature. The third day she would spend in her home city of New York watching the busy city and the workday of the present. She concluded it with these words: 'I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you were stricken blind.'..." and other illustrations)
  • Lent 4C (RCIA)(2013)

    by Susan Fleming McGurgan
  • Lent 4

    by Susan Fleming McGurgan
  • Lent 4A (2015)

    by Jim Schmitmeyer
  • Lent 4B

    by Tim Schehr