The Journey 107: Transformation In The Life Of Sick & Suffering
Read: John 9:1-12
As the world remembered the sinking Titanic this week, the news channel yesterday brought about some interesting aspects with regards to the two contradictory role played by two ships who got the distress calls from Titanic as it the iceberg and was beginning to sink. The first ship was Californian who was the closest to Titanic and had even conveyed the news to the wireless operator of the Titanic that icebergs were spotted on their journey and that they had to be careful. But when Titanic hit the iceberg and began sending the distress signals by firing rockets in the air and morse signals to the Californian, the captain of the Californian ship, Stanley Lord failed to acknowledge nor did he do anything to help the sinking Titanic. On the contrary he moved his ship farther away from the Titanic. All the rescuers of Titanic was picked up from the icy waters by another ship Carpathian who was much farther away from Californian, but yet rushed to the rescue of Titanic seeing the distress signals. The captain of Carpathian, Arthur Rostron consciously asked the ship to be steered to the site of the sinking Titanic and by the time the ship Carpathian came to the scene Titanic had already sunk but they could rescue around 760 survivors who were on the lifeboat. History says that if Californian which was the ship that was closest to Titanic would also had come to the rescue, the casualties would have been less. But that is history. With this tragedy, Captain Stanley Lord was ostracized throughout his life, while Captain Arthur Rostron was honoured by the British and by the world. Two contrasting reaction to the pain and suffering of people. One who is least bothered or he feels that he has better things to do and the other who feels that whatever help rendered will be worthwhile. When looking at the people who go through sickness and suffering one the strangest aspect is the reaction of the people to the sick and the suffering. It is this reaction that either helps the suffering people to cope up with their suffering or feel totally isolated and all alone in the their time of suffering. What does the Lord require from us when we encounter people who are sick and suffering? This week we are meditating on the theme “ Transformation in the life of the sick and the suffering” and the portion for our meditation is from John 9:1-12. Here we find Jesus healing a blind man. But in the beginning of the verse 1,2 we find that when the disciples find the blind man who needs to be healed of his infirmities, what come to their mind is not the suffering that the blind man goes through or the pitiable state that he is in, on the contrary they are more interested in a theological discourse on why he is born blind. Sometimes I feel we are also like the disciples, we see suffering and pain of people all around us but instead of seeing their pain empathetically we are more concerned on the logistics of the suffering people, or why we raise question like why suffering like this happens, and countless other questions which are of no help to the people who actually go through suffering, like the blind beggar in this passage. Jesus responds to the question of the disciples and makes haste to heal the blind beggar. For Jesus healing the blind beggar was of more importance than just spending time in this time of dire need, discussing as to who is responsible for the suffering of the blind man. Today we see in the world these two kinds of people just as the captains of the two ship. Both see suffering around. One is interested on why suffering happens, only in terms of discussing the issue, while the other sees suffering not in terms of an issue to be discussed but an issue to be seen empathetically and handled with care and compassion, rendering help in whatever way possible. This is what makes the difference in bringing about transformation in the life of the sick and suffering.