Gospel healing stories amaze me, especially the ones where the blind receive their sight. Consider, for instance, the story in John where the man born blind and earned his living as a beggar was told by Jesus to go wash in the pool of Siloam. To be sure he received his ability to see, but what is more amazing is that he could see with comprehension. There is no indication that he had any trouble recognizing people or places; he had no difficulty adjusting to his new world of sight. He could see with comprehension, and I wonder if that is what we need to focus on.
Is that what Paul was getting at when he wrote about seeing in a glass dimly now but once fully in God’s presence seeing clearly? It’s not about seeing but about comprehension. The man born blind could see with comprehension once he had been touched by Jesus, but he could not comprehend everything. Places and people were no problem. He knew that the man Jesus was the one who had given him the gift of comprehending sight. He could even engage in sophisticated argument with the Pharisees. But he did not recognize Jesus until he heard his voice, and even then had to listen again to begin to comprehend who Jesus really was. He had much to learn. He had to learn who he, himself, was called to really be. Who do you suppose he became? Did he become one of the 120 or so who formed the nucleus of the early Church? Was he one of those who carried the gospel abroad to make more converts and travel farther than Paul?
What about us? I have no doubt that we were born blind, but what sort of comprehending sight do you and I now have? Any? Where did it come from and how did we get it? How much have we learned and how much do we yet have to learn? Who have we been, who are we now, and who yet are we called to become?