The disciples said to Jesus about the blind man they saw,
Who sinned, this man or his parents?
Jesus said, Neither. Affliction is not reason for blame.
Affliction can be thought of as an opening.
Take this dirt, he said, for an example.
He reached down and scooped some up.
What is this? he asked.
It is dirt, they said. It's nothing. Occupied. Cursed.
It is, he said. And it's like your question--common, everywhere.
And he spit in it and made it wet
and rubbed it on the blind man's eyes
and told him to wash in a pool called Sent.
The man did and then he could see.
The mud in Jesus' hand was not collected and venerated.
What was it? It was nothing, in itself, new.
It was mud, made from dirt and human spit.
It was an opening--common, everywhere.