Today’s passage in John made me sad. I know that the Gospel writers didn’t include absolutely everything that happened and was said. But it made me sad to read the fact that there was very little celebration of this man receiving his sight. The man (unnamed) it seems does not have a time of celebration even after he can see (maybe because he’s brought in for questioning). There is a nasty interchange between him and the religious leaders. His parents aren’t recorded as having any kind of celebration. The closest we come is when the man asks Jesus at the end of the chapter “Who is he that I might believe in him?”
This isn’t a bashing of anyone in the story but it reminds me of something a friend of mine in a previous congregation I served once shared with me. He would say over and over, “we church people don’t celebrate enough!” And he’s right. We don’t. We do a lot of looking ahead at what’s next. We do too much looking back at what wasn’t right in something or in someone. We ask about a lot of needs for prayer. But in terms of celebrating? Not nearly as much as we should. Because there’s a lot to celebrate, even in the midst of the difficulties and challenges that life can bring.
But here’s the thing – it takes time and energy that we need to actively choose to expend to look for these things. Our default is to look for what isn’t as opposed to what is. Sometimes we need to look a bit closer at someone, something, someplace to see that which is there to celebrate. And sometimes we need to look past what isn’t perfect to celebrate what is.