Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” - John 9:41
I have to admit, I don’t like healing miracles. Probably because for me they are more complicated than they are often presented, which is as a source of hope. For me, healing miracles bring a lot of questions.
I’ve had these questions from such a young age. By the time I was in middle school I was wearing a back brace and a growth spurt away from knowing whether or not I would need spinal surgery.
One day my siblings shouted for me from the family room, “Maria, Maria, Come look!”
So I ran into the room; they rewound the tv and showed me the story of a girl with Scoliosis, who prayed to God, and her spine was miraculously straightened.
I imagine my siblings were surprised when I shouted, “Never show me something like that ever again!”
They were probably trying to offer me hope, but I was not comforted by this miracle. All it told me was that God was capable of healing me and choosing not to. If God can perform such amazing miracles, then why is our world still full of such pain?
The truth is that healing is much more complicated, and I am so grateful for this story in the Gospel of John, for digging deeper into the complexity of how we understand disability within the context of healing miracles.
Jesus gives a clear answer about associating disability with sin and brokenness: they aren’t connected. Yet, even in today’s society we laud seemingly quick fixes and leave behind the complicated implications that they come with. The story of healing that my siblings shared with me didn’t bring me hope. It brought me sadness and anger, because then I had to think about why God wouldn’t heal me.
Jesus tells us not to look at healing this way, that blindness or bad backs have nothing to do with our worth or goodness. That the problem is more systemic, the problem is actually correlating our bodies’ ability to do certain things with our worth and goodness. We are worthy just as we are, so there’s no need for God to fix me, because God made me.