(Based on the account of the blind man in John)

I have been blind from birth. My parents could not explain it. They have always been healthy, but I have not. God's curse, some said. For my sins? But how? What had I done before birth? My parents? They went to the synagogue weekly and followed the Law of Moses faithfully.

In a way, that is what hurt the most. Not the blindness itself, but the rejection. I learned to feel with my fingers, stumbling from table to chair. One of my earliest memories was burning my hands on the stove because I could not see. Soon I learned to see with my other senses. But I was still outcast. Outcast. A bad word in my culture.

Oh, I still went to the synagogue, but the whispers followed me even into the house of God. People assumed that because I was blind, I was deaf as well. Not I. Eventually, when I was of age, I stopped going. Instead, I sat on the street corners, a metal cup in my hand. At least I could support my parents by begging. What else was I good for? I almost believed it myself. God's curse. That's what I was.

I remembered everything I heard in the synagogue, the stories of all the great miracles. Of Moses and Elijah the prophet and what they had done at the power of God. But there were no more prophets. The scrolls were shut, and God no longer shouted from the heavens. Some said the Messiah would come, but why would he trouble with me, a blind beggar? God's curse for a sin I didn't even know I committed.

Then I heard of the man. The man who turned water into wine. His name was on everyone's lips. Yeshua. Yeshua. God is salvation. He was, to the common people. The leaders spoke his name like a curse, but any man who could do such miracles had to be a prophet. Still, why would he come to me? I held out my cup each day, but I still hoped. Hoped, somewhere deep inside, that eventually I would see the colors of a rainbow.

One day, the shuffling of feet suddenly stopped. The smell of the sea, and of fish, was all around me. I had not smelt that since I was a child, and my family had gone to visit relatives in Galilee. It was the smell of the outdoors.

A burly voice asked, "What sin did this man commit, to make him blind? Or was it his parents?" I wanted to shrink, and held the cup in toward myself. I would get no alms from this man, whoever he was. He sounded big, and not the kind of man to be gentle.

Then another voice. A voice I could never describe. It sounded like a king, even though it was a gentle, almost mournful voice. Or was it angry? In my heart, I had felt both together. My heart seemed to leap out. "Neither, but so that the power of God could be displayed in him." Huh. That couldn't mean...but suddenly, my heart was beating widly with hope.

A calloused hand touched my face, then my eyes. This man worked with his hands, for they were horny with callouses. But they were also gentle hands. I could imagine them holding a baby, or carefully carving wood. He was spreading something on my eyes. "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam." That was all he said. The pool was not far. I had been there many times. I could feel my way.

Did I want to? I knew who it had to be. Did I want to take the word of someone that almost all of the fathers hated? But how could I escape the kindness of those hands, or the gentleness of his words? I could at least try. I had to wash my eyes, anyway. Whatever was on them was drying.

Hurrying as fast as I could, I felt my way toward the pool. Dipping my head, I washed the crust off my eyes. Immediately I was blinded. Blinking slow eyelids, I kept them shut for a long moment, then opened them. So this was light! How bright it was. Never even in my dreams had I imagined something so glorious. I was overwhelmed, and for a moment, I felt tears come to my eyes. Was this what the prophets had seen when they saw the Almighty?

Then, slowly, my eyes adjusted. People were what I expected, though some were taller or shorter than I thought. And the water...so that was blue. And the sky! I gave thanks to Yahweh for giving me my sight, and spent some time just looking around, reveling in the use of my eyes.

A cough made me turn. A man, standing in nice robes, beckoned to me. He looked important, and I walked over to him.

"You," he said, and I recognized the leader of the synagogue. "This is the Sabbath. Who healed you?"

I no longer had fear. "Yeshua, of Nazareth," I said. The man's eyebrows rose, and then his mouth creased in disapproval.

"Where is he?" he asked. I shrugged my shoulders. I had been blind when he told me to wash, and I said so. The man nodded and motioned for me to come. I followed him toward the temple, and met a group of Pharisees. Their tassels and bells, and their smug, self-important expressions showed who they were just as much as the boxes on their foreheads. I had never liked the Pharisees, but they were still the rulers I had been taught to follow.

Pateiently, I went over what Yeshua had done. There was debate, then the question I knew would be asked.

"What do you think of him?"

"He is a prophet," I said. I was not willing to say Messiah yet, but it was enough. The Pharisees looked angry. I had heard the command that anyone who defended Yeshua would be thrown out of the synagogue. What did it matter? They had already thrown me out with their words and their judgment. I could leave, and follow the prophet who had the compassion to open my eyes.

And so they did, after calling me a sinner one last time. My parents did not defend me, but then, had they ever? They had not called me God's curse, but they had silenced those who had. No, I was alone, but for one man. I wanted to find him and thank him.

Eventually, I did. He was alone. I wondered where his disciples were. I wanted to follow, but before I could open my mouth, he asked me a question. "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"

I still thought he was a prophet, but prophets heard from the Almighty. "Tell me who he is, sir," I said. All waited for him, the one who stood on the clouds of heaven and broke his enemies under his feet.

"He is the one talking to you now," Yeshua said. Somehow, I had known. I had known from the time he had spoken. Quietly, I knelt at his feet.

"My Lord," I said.

"Those who are blind now see, and those who think they see are made blind," the Master said. It was sharp, and I knew it was not directed at me. It was, rather, directed at those I saw behind me. Those same Pharisees, always watching, but never seeing. Always condemning, but never helping. Somehow, I thought it was fitting. I had seen the Messiah, and he had opened my eyes. Those that thought they knew all could not see, for they judged both of us, rather than seeing the heart.

So it was that I was blind, but now I see.