“And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, ‘Do you see anything?’ And he looked up and said, ‘I see people; but they look like trees, walking.’ Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. And he sent him away to his home, saying, ‘Do not enter the village, nor tell anyone in the village.’” (Mk 8: 22-26)
The Lord cures this man’s blindness gradually, and not as He does in the various other cases of blindness reported in the Gospels. First, He takes the man by the hand and leads him to a more private setting, “out of the village”; then, after spitting on the man’s eyes and laying His hands on him, Christ gives him the ability to see “people,” but they’re indistinguishable and “look like trees walking.” Finally, after Christ lays His hands on the man’s eyes a second time, the man is able to see “everything clearly.” But the Lord doesn’t allow him to return to the public sphere of the village, out of which He led him, sending him home with his new-found vision.
So it can be gradual and different for each of us, this whole business of recovery, in Christ. Some of us may be in the phase of having been led, already, “outside” our habitual “village,” as we’re (re)discovering church-going, or just beginning to read/watch faith-related stuff online. But we’re still seeing “people,” including Jesus Christ, without being able to discern Who He is, and who everyone else is, in His light. In fact, trees and people may be indistinguishable in this phase, as they are equally “meaningful” (or “meaningless”) to our blurred vision of God’s world. At the same time, others of us may have received the gift of “seeing everything clearly,” but are sent “home” with our new-found vision, because the time hasn’t come for us to “(re)enter the village” and preach to others there. Thank You, Lord, for dealing with the blindness of each of us differently, as You see fit. Glory be to You.