Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pool of Mercy

Announcing the debut of The Stained Glass Pickup, Glimpses of God’s Uncommon Wisdom by Cathy Messecar –Leafwood Publishers / ACU Press

Thom Lemmons, co-winner of the 2006 Christy award for Christian fiction King’s Ransom says about Cathy’s new book The Stained Glass Pickup:

"Cathy Messecar finds temples wherever she goes: in a chapel on a university campus, at her children's bedsides, in a church full of rustling Bible pages... or on a bale of hay, in the cab of an eighteen-wheeler, in the aisle of a grocery store. Like a long-ago Teacher walking the dusty roads of Galilee, she can spot the outlines of the sublime camouflaged by the ordinary. Her images will touch your imagination; her words will touch your heart; her visions of eternity will touch your soul."

Order today at -- a hard back gift book, $10.99 plus S & H, tax if applicable or by mail at P. O. Box, Montgomery, TX 77356 or email me. Outside United States order from

Pool of Mercy

Imagine you’re holding your newborn son. Perfect in every way. No treasure rivals a healthy child. But a few weeks later, an uneasy feeling invades. Your son turns his head toward sounds, but his eyes don’t focus on anything—not even your face.

To the parents and blind son of John 9, blindness became as familiar as daily bread. The son never saw a minnow or the faint yellow of fresh butter. The parents never witnessed his wonder at seeing a puppy or a lightening bolt.

By adulthood, darkness underwrote his world. Light—he had no basis of comprehension besides descriptive words. Around Jerusalem, this tentative man was well-known. Locals could tell any newcomer, “Oh, he’s been around for years—blind since birth.”

One day, Jesus and his disciples passed near him. Jesus noticed the man and his disciples asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?”

Perhaps the sightless man overheard Jesus’ answer. “Neither . . . this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (9:3). Jesus continued, “Night is coming, when no man can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (9:4-5).

God—on display in a life. Jesus started the ball rolling, with mud balls. Instead of immediate creation of sight, Jesus mixed a Sabbath-mud-and-saliva placebo, and smeared it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam.”

Wherever the blind man was in Jerusalem, he obediently groped his way toward the pool. Did he encounter curious locals? Did hecklers ridicule his mud pack? Did brats jeer his stumbling walk or try to trip him? Did citizens pity him, thinking that both his mind and sight were now gone? Whatever he encountered, he pushed on to the pool of mercy.

When he reached the water, did he kneel and dip his hands in the water? Or with abandon splash into the pool, dipping his head beneath the surface? Did he rise, flinging locks, shaking off droplets, wiping watery dirt from his face and eyes?

With the soil of the earth washed away, his eyes opened. God met him there. Sweet sight. A spectrum of color. Adrenalin rush. Words and objects connected. For the first time, he had a live picture-dictionary of his vocabulary.

On that Sabbath, the blind man saw a mural—his parent’s faces, shimmering water, scowls from religious zealots, the synagogue. Yes, ugliness also treaded the boundaries of this healing. The Sabbath-Nazis aligned Jesus with sinners. Their anger stemmed from his claims to the title of Messiah and his so-called Sabbath offences.

In the first slew of questions from the religious leaders, the healed man couldn’t identify Jesus. He’d never seen him. After more questions later that day, still without a face-to-face meeting, the man declared Jesus was a prophet.

Then he met Jesus. The sweetest Sabbath sighting of all.

Afterwards, cranky religious leaders asked further arbitrary questions of the healed man. He confirmed Jesus’ deity with his notable evidence-reply, “I was blind but now I see!”

The old Hebrew-assignment is our spiritual calling today: “To open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” Isaiah 42:6-7.

Is someone stumbling, groping for a path, looking for the Way? Invite them to God and his pool of mercy.

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