I cherish a certain picture I have of the Savior healing a blind man. The blind man is kneeling at the Savior’s feet, his arms down at his side, his head slightly tilted upward. The Savior has his hands outstretched, his fingertips touching the man’s cheeks and his thumbs are laid gently on the man’s eyelids. There are people standing around watching the miracle take place: A husband and wife with their daughter, and another mother with her young child. Their eyes are fixed on the work the Savior performs. But behind them stand two other men who whisper. The scene is a recreation of the story in the Bible from John chapter 9. While this story is a physical manifestation of Christ’s healing power and a beautiful representation of Christ’s ability to perform miracles, it has a deeper spiritual meaning as well. The individuals in this painting are not simple representatives of people in Christ’s day. They are you and me as we pass through various stages of our own faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The blind man is at the center of the painting. While we know the atonement of Jesus Christ has the all-encompassing power of making our imperfect bodies into perfect ones through the resurrection, we need not wait for the Second Coming of our Savior to reap the benefits of spiritual healing. If we submit to our Savior, trust in his power to heal our hearts, he can ease the burden of our suffering every day. I don’t know how this happens, but I know it does. I have cast my burdens on the Lord and trusted him to carry them for me. Sometimes he even carries me too. But he has never let me down. There may have been times when I didn’t feel his love at first, but that was because I did not fully trust him. I may have held my hands up in defiance—unwilling to accept his healing power. But the blind man in the painting is submissive. That is the way we must be when our Savior is ready to heal our hearts and open our spiritual eyes again.
Notice the families in the picture. They are willing observers of the event. I think about them to, wondering what they must be thinking. They are focused on the action of the Savior, their faces concentrating on the miracle. They believe what they are seeing. They support him in his ministry. The families in the painting represent us when we watch miracles happen around us—at least they represent the times when we are in tune with the Savior’s teachings and supportive of his mission. It reminds me of when I witness a baptism, a confirmation, a baby’s blessing, or any other act of Priesthood authority. It reminds me of when I witness a beautiful sunrise over a mountain range, the budding daffodils in spring, the crisp autumn air, and a beautiful fresh coating of snow covering the ground, the streets, and the sidewalks like a fluffy blanket. Whether the miracles are from nature or from the hand of one given the authority, they are from God. Do I watch them with reverent awe and can I appreciate the messenger who allows them to happen?
The last group of people in the picture is the most important. We don’t often like to look at ourselves in a negative light, but doing so helps us change for the better. The two men scoffing represent us when we see miracles and show the down side of our character. If you have ever prayed for the desires of your heart and felt the Lord’s answer was “not now”, then watched as others obtain freely and abundantly the miracles you ache to receive, you may have harbored negative feelings in the depth of your heart. “How could the Lord bless her with such richness when I stand in such need?” you might think. Or you may say, “He gives freely to everyone else, except me. What kind of a Savior is he?” And worse yet, you might think, “I guess I’m not loved enough to receive a miracle.” Anger, sorrow, envy, and pride are some of the most damaging emotions that separate us from the Savior and his miracles. When we act on our own painful emotions and forget the Savior’s love, our view of his power is skewed. We live in the moment, the moment of pain, rather than see the eternal perspective, the perspective of everlasting joy.
Christ blesses all of his children with miracles daily. Some miracles are small and unseen. Others are enormous. They fall like rain from the sky, drenching some while only misting others. But his atonement promises us we will receive all of his blessings through the resurrection. No one who is faithful will be denied this gift. The struggle then is to see ourselves in the painting and decide who we want to be—the blind man receiving the blessing, the faithful who watch and wait with real commitment, or the jealous ones who are more blind than the first.
It’s safe to say everyone goes through the cycle. That’s part of overcoming human nature. But if we can spend less time scoffing at other people’s blessings, we will realize the miracles right in front of us every day. And our Father in Heaven will be grateful too, for then he can trust us to help him in his plan to bring to pass the eternal life of all mankind. Then we too can be healers of a sort, as we help others see the miracles the Savior has helped us to see.
Nanette O'Neal loves the gospel and is very happy to share her testimony on LDS Blogs. She is a convert to the church and still feels the spirit burn strong within her heart. She graduated from Mason Gross School of the Arts with a degree in music education and has taught children and adults in the private and public sphere for over twenty years. Nanette continues to study the gospel and the art of writing. She writes weekly inspirational articles on her blog and is currently working on an LDS fantasy novel series, A Doorway Back to Forever. You can find her at NanetteONeal.blogspot.com. Nanette has a wonderful husband, talented son, and three beautiful dogs.