The Second Touch

      There is an interesting miracle in Mark 8:22-25.  It states, “They came to Bethsaida and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.  He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.  When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’  He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’  Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes.  Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
     As far as I have noticed this is the only time Jesus does a healing in two stages.  There is a blind man.  First, Jesus gives him sight and then second, 20/20 vision.  There are various explanations as to why Jesus does this miracle in two stages.  Some say it is a lesson about the blindness of Israel, others the blindness of the apostles.  I’m not sure why Jesus does it this way; but for some reason I find it encouraging.  Maybe it’s just me, but many times over the years I have seen God act in more than one step or even a lengthy process.  I would prefer that God step into my life and those I love in one big dramatic act—healing the sickness, erasing the financial debt, restoring the relationship or breaking the addiction.  But that is not always how He works.  When I am facing a difficult situation, often I can only see one step forward but not the entire staircase (to borrow a phrase from Martin Luther King Jr.).  What could a second touch from Jesus that clarifies look like? 
      Sometimes I will face a situation and have a tentative plan.  But then I remember that James the half-brother of Jesus says if we need wisdom to ask for it (James 1:5).  I pray, and like a visit to the optometrist flipping a lens things become clearer.  Sometimes immediately, sometimes over time. 
      Periodically, I will face a decision where the next step is unclear but as I am reading the Bible, not even thinking about the issue, and a Scripture just pops.  The Spirit helped me see a unique angle on the situation.  I am pleasantly surprised in those times when a well-worn passage speaks to me in a new way.  I love moments where I think, how have I never seen this before?  The beautiful, eternal word of God is always stretching us. 
        At times, the second touch comes through the body of Christ, God’s people.  The wisdom I have prayed for could come from the lips of my insightful wife or wise mother.  Maybe we are wrestling with a dilemma at Journey Church and I experience the wisdom of having a plurality of elders; one of them sees something I never would have thought of on my own.  Or as a voracious reader, I receive an inspirational thought from a Christian author that I will never meet this side of heaven.  This week, pray “Jesus open our eyes.”  And yes, feel the freedom to ask for the Savior’s second touch!
Pastor Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church