By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 2, Rabbi, who sinned so that he was born blind, this man or his parents?
We are so quick to place blame. It’s a mechanism for discharge of discomfort and pain, giving us a sense of control in bad situations. Blame is at the center of this whole story—blame for how the man came to be blind, blame for how he was healed, and blame for who was working on the Sabbath. According to Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor, ‘blame is coercive to relationships and is a reason we miss our opportunity for empathy. When trying to place blame while hearing a story, we’re not listening and feeling but making connections about whose fault it is.’ I’ve found this to be true in my own life—I can easily go into blaming and fixing mode and lose sight of the humanity of my friend and empathize with their experience. In this passage, everyone is so busy trying to figure who did what wrong that they end up pitting one against another and creating confusion and anxiety. In this passage, how sad that they miss the chance to witness real transformation and celebrate a turning point in a man’s life.
Prayer God of transformation, help us not to default to blame and fixing, but to see you. May we seek connection with one another and with you above all else.