The Dance of Inclusion
The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
- Acts 9:11-12
Let’s take stock of the situation. Jesus has – against all odds and expectations – risen from the grave. He’s knocked Saul to the ground and taken his sight. In one fell swoop, Jesus upended all of Saul’s presuppositions about the Lord and forced Saul to slow down long enough to apply his enormous intellect to the enormous implications of the resurrection.
Why would Jesus include Ananias?
Ananias has no legendary backstory in the narrative. He has no power of his own. He displays no biblical expertise or preaching skill. He’s a refugee from Jerusalem. But he’s included in an integral way in this story.
Jesus could have appeared to Saul himself for a second time to restore his sight. Jesus could have made the scales dissolve from a distance. Jesus could have handled things on his own. But he didn’t. And he doesn’t.
We so often find ourselves being sent to places or included in situations where we could easily say: “Lord, can’t you just handle this on your own?”
We know he has the power to spin the cosmos into existence and to pull the roof off of Death’s house. He can provide food for that person who’s sick. He can provide emotional comfort to that co-worker who’s lonely. He can put perfect knowledge of math into that child’s mind. But he chooses to use tutors and caregivers and us.
The reason Jesus includes Ananias has little or nothing to do with Ananias and a lot to do with Jesus. He doesn’t do things the easy, most direct, or most efficient way. The eternal Trinitarian dance of relationship spills out into everything Jesus does. He loops us in and teaches us the steps.
Will you get up and dance today?