4. Transforming Touches
Experiencing transforming touches
We now return to our gospel passage. Place it alongside of what has emerged for you.
. . . (Jesus) took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?”. . .
. . . And the man looked up and said, "I can see people, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, "Do not even go into the village."
What is it like to experience the transforming touch (touches) to the eyes of your heart? What is it that you are now able to see with greater clarity? Keep these questions in front of you as we continue to reflect on the transforming touches experienced by Sandra and by you.
We may have prayerfully pondered on the possibilities of receiving the Jesus’ touch on the eyes of our hearts at different times in our lives. Could it be that there are two such touches in the encounter between Sandra, Amy, the Spirit and the manifest presence of Jesus? This was obviously the case with the blind man. Is this gospel story inviting us to look even deeper at Sandra’s story and at our own story? This will involve following both the story thread (as we have done above) and the golden thread of grace (the thread f the Holy Spirit), right through Sandra’s story. There is still much to be discovered.
With the possibilities of two touches occurring in this one encounter, look for one involving Fire (fire is often a metaphor used for the Spirit, for example, “The Living Flame of Love”),[i] and a second involving Relational Presence (what it is to come into the Divine Presence). Also look at Sandra’s invitation to greater freedom, and in particular at two dimensions of freedom:
- the freedom from (for example, from entanglements and captivity); and,
- the freedom for (for example, for coming into oneness with Jesus and for choosing to love the Lord her God with her whole being).
Winding in the ball of string!
Remember your ball of wool? Remember William Blake’s poem? [ii]
I give you the end of a golden string;
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
Built in Jerusalem’s wall.
Imagine your ball of wool is threaded through with a slender thread of gold—the golden thread of the Holy Spirit. It is now time to wind it into a ball and, and through prayerful attentiveness and submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, notice what it is revealing to you. What are you are being invited to see more clearly? We may need to untie the beginning of the string from the first door latch. As we do so, we may become aware of a barely visible, but indeed very present, golden thread of grace that weaves in and around this whole experience.
Glimpsing through our “companioning window”
What might we discover anew if we used our companioning window (see JESUS INVITATION, “2. A "Companioning Window"”) to follow Sandra’s story thread? This involves looking through the window or lens of Jesus’ “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28 – 30).
Glimpsing through the “companioning window”
[i] John of the Cross entitles one of his poems: “The Living Flame of Love.” In Centred on Love: The Poems of St John of the Cross. Translated by Marjorie Flower OCD. Varroville: Carmelite Nuns, 2002, 22.
[ii] William Blake, from “Jerusalem.” In Sampson, The Poems, 250.
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