In Mark’s gospel there is this odd little story about a blind guy. It is odd because it takes Jesus twice to heal him of his blindness! Yes, Jesus doesn’t “fix” it the first time.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a household where one of the many taglines of life was, “Do it right the first time” (and it’s correlate “Don’t do anything half-a$$d”). So, I learned to take pains to do something right the first time I did it and not to do it halfway. This was the sign of a job well done: that things were completed and completed well the first time around.
Not a bad way to think about most things in life.
And then — BAM! — this story of Jesus who doesn’t get his healing of the blind guy right the first time (Mark 8:22-26). After the healing, the formerly blind man can see people, “but they look like trees, walking.” Jesus doesn’t get it right the first time!
Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?” And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.Mark 8:23-25
Now, there is no way that I think Jesus didn’t put his best foot forward with this guy. I don’t think Jesus was performing a half-a$$d miracle or didn’t have his heart in it the first time around.
There are probably lots of things that Mark is trying to get across in this story — too many things for here and just enough stuff for a bible study! But one of the things that is clear is this: not everything is an easy fix. And, since it took the Son of God two tries for this healing, there are probably things that you and I are just not going to be able to fix.
Depending on who you are, this is either really good news or really bad: you might be relieved that you can’t fix everything or just frustrated that you won’t be able to!
But, on the cusp of Lent — a season when we remember above all that we are not God — perhaps it is good reminder of our humanness. That even Jesus couldn’t get everything fixed the first time around.