Where Are You Looking?
The Rev. Sara Cosca-Warfield
Scripture: John 9:1-41
I don’t know about you, but the uncertainty is starting to get to me. My wife just coughed. A dry cough, if sounded like. Is she sick? Am I sick? What if I have it but don’t know it and give it to someone else who’s vulnerable? How will I know?
It feels like I’ve lost the trail in a forest full of fog, barely able to see even a few feet ahead of me. Every step feels unsure.
I don’t know. I can’t see. I can’t see.
We are all experiencing a sort of shared blindness right now. An inability to see our lives clearly. These circumstances are enormous, beyond our control, but having an impact on our lives all the same. Some of us are wondering how long our children will be out of school. Some of us are wondering how long the complex where we live will be on lockdown. Some of us are wondering when we’ll get to see people we love again.
We don’t know. We can’t see. We can’t see.
As luck would have it, our Gospel today is the story of Jesus giving sight to the blind man. But I don’t think the blind man seeing is the most important part of the story. At least not today. I think the important part of the story is what each person looks for in the aftermath of what happened.
Now the Pharisees had a very different situation than we have today. They are not blinded by a pandemic, they are blinded by an inexplicable miracle.
How can this be? They ask. This doesn’t make sense. What do we do with this?
Where they decide to look is telling. “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” They look for ways to judge, to condemn, to find fault. Even in the face of a miracle. Can you imagine how they’d react during a pandemic?
The blind man, however, looks in a different direction. “Lord, I believe,” he says. He looks to faith, to trust, to hope.
Where have you been looking in this blindness of ours?
Beloved saint, Mr. Fred Rogers, once shared some advice from his mom about where to look in the time of crisis. You’ve probably heard it before. “Always look for the helpers.” his mother said. “There’s always someone who is trying to help.” I did, Mr. Rogers explained, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.”
In this unsettling time, it’s been easy for me to look towards worry, despair, anxiety. But do you know who has redirected my gaze? All the helpers in this community.
All the people on our Care Team who signed up to make calls or buy groceries or run errands for people in quarantine.
Our three musicians who have shown up to the church, keeping six feet away from one another, so that we could all come together online around the music we love during Sunday worship and Open Sanctuary last week.
Kristian who has been there to help make those online streams possible.
Raven who has created activities and a video so that our children can still have The Ark today.
When I start feeling hopeless, I look towards all the ways I see all of you loving each other from a distance. All the ways I see you being the Body of Christ in your unique ways.
In this time of shared blindness, this community helps us to see that there are helpers everywhere. You help us to trust, to have faith, to hope.
As we move through this blindness in the coming weeks, may we always look for the helpers. Amen.