By: Maggie Leonard
Reflection—v. 5, spat… spread mud on his eyes… saying to him, ‘go wash’
Speaking of fixing things… helping people is so good! We are created to help one another. But so often we over do it. We forget what helping looks like—it is messy, grimy, raw, complicated, and personal. We also can’t do everything for others. The person who needs help has to participate as well. In her book, The New Codependency (I highly recommend it), Melody Beattie says, ‘codependency is normal behavior, plus. There are times we do too much, care too much, feel too little, or overly engage. We forget where the other person’s responsibilities begin and our responsibilities stop.’ Too often, I have volunteered unsolicited advice or tried to coordinate for someone all that I thought they needed, only for the advice to be ignored (leaving me bitter, because I know about these things… how patronizing!) or the coordination falling incomplete (it wasn’t really wanted and their effort wasn’t wasted). Here, Jesus models for us healthy helping and reminds us that those who we are trying to help have to participate in the healing, in the fixing. Not to allow one another to have that agency robs one of her potential, of her power.
Prayer Helping God, help me not to get caught up in how good it feels to help others. May I be open to their empowerment.