Jelly Bread Imagination!

We have an after-meal practice of slathering our favorite jam or jelly on a slice of French or Italian bread as an easy dessert. Since bread has some serious carbs and jellies have those tasty sugars, we have to guard against the excess of these kinds of habits that over time can wreck a fitness diet! It has also become a regular occurrence for Monique's imagination to run wild after the first bite. I guess this is a gift of sorts, but she holds and usually rotates the bread as she points out to me what she sees from the tooth marks left behind.

Delicious Jelly Bread!
Image Credit: unsplash.com 

I can honestly say that I never get it! I think I am too linear or literal. If there is a figure left from the bite of bread and jelly, I don't see it like she does. Sometimes I want to play along as she describes the figure. She will ask, "Don't you see the head, the floppy ears, and the big eyes?" I'll answer, "Uhhh... no, I don't! Can't we just eat our bread?!" 

And she will take another bite and say as she rotates another supposed image for me to get a better look, "What about now? Do you see the long trunk, tusks and rounded back?" I shake my head in disbelief! I reply, "What is this? A trip to the zoo? Let me eat my bread!" I guess, some people have a vivid imagination and some of us are just plain boring! 

We only see what we see! I think about the miracle of healing that the blind man at Bethsaida experienced one day. There are a few things to consider about this account. The man was likely not from Bethsaida but had been brought to Jesus by some friends. He also probably had his sight at onetime because he knew the difference between a tree and a human figure. This is one of two miracles that are unique to Mark's Gospel (7:31-37 and 8:22-26).

Another unique element in this story is how this man gradually received his miracle of restored sight. Only Mark reports this phenomenon when after the first healing touch, Jesus asked the man, "Can you see anything now?" The man responded, "Yes, I see people, but I can't see them clearly. They look like trees walking around." Jesus touched his eyes a second time. At this moment, the miracle was complete and "The man could see everything clearly." (Mark 8:23-25 NLT). Some Bible commentators reason that this two-step process was necessary to address the man's spiritual need of unbelief. 

We are seeing light at the end of a year-long battle with a dark and deadly pandemic. Hope is arriving as the vaccines are getting in arms. Many of us are very anxious to move on, but the way forward in these next crucial months will most likely require patience and restraint. We are in a gradual opening and hopeful return to the social normal we knew in our pre-Covid 19 days. When we look back some months from now, this may be recorded as a time of patient and progressive opening.

Another way to apply this is to consider all the times we have wanted something to happen in our personal, professional, and family lives or even in the world. How many times have we audaciously desired that God act in ways we want and when we want Him to move? We are in a hurry and impatient for our miracles! We want God to intervene in our situations right now!  Yet, we know that God wills what He wills when He wills it! That's just the way He works and it is always for our good that He does! 

I often need to be reminded of the prayerful message in this beloved hymn by Clara Scott, "Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me. Place in my hands the wonderful key, that shall unclasp and set me free. Silently now I wait for thee, ready my God, Thy will to see. Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!"

When are we going to learn this lesson? When are we going to see things God's way? Open our eyes, Lord!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor, 
active churchman and
doting grandparent. 
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 

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