Written in response to COVID19 quarantine. (From Luke 18:35-42, NLT)
The blind man had no home. Although he lived off of shared food and money, what he longed for most was to see. When he heard a large crowd shout, clap, and parade by him, his heart beat faster and his skin tingled with hope.
“What is happening?” he asked into the open space around him. No one answered. Maybe they could not hear.
“What is happening?” he asked louder and outstretched his hands until he found the arm of someone and clung. “Tell me why they’re happy.”
“He’s here!” said the voice of a young woman.
“Who’s here?” the blind man asked.
“The one who changes everything. Jesus.”
The blind man had heard about Jesus. Some said he was a good teacher, some the
future king, some a heretic, and some the promised Messiah. Even if none of those claims were true, one rumor had been testified by many who had sight: Jesus healed. The blind man chose to believe. What did he have to lose? He searched for the woman who had helped him, but she was no longer within reach. Instead the arms and backs of people pushed against his fingertips. He could not grab on to anyone. There was no help.
With a pulse rising and sweat on his neck, the blind man shouted, “Jesus, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.
The blind man had been quiet his whole life in order to hear others clearly. He had learned to listen for the clink of coins in his palm, the approaching kick in his thighs as he slept on streets, the robber taking bread from the one bag he owned and held around his chest. Wisdom was staying quiet to hear who had mercy and who did not. Quietness kept him alive. But the noise this day was different. People did not crowd the blind man to take away the little he had or give the little they could afford to share; they came to take from Jesus what they could and give him their faith. The blind man was used to taking. That was the only way he could survive. And for a Healer, even a little faith was enough.
He spoke louder: “Jesus, have mercy on me!”
The crowd stopped cheering. Jesus must have heard him because the blind man thought the air seemed heavy with power. Unsure if he should call again, he waited. He lifted his chin and moved his head, like a baby searching for the source of an unfamiliar noise. His ears opened wider.
He felt a hand on his arm and the voice of a man. “Jesus wants to see you.”
The blind man smiled and let the man lead. He sensed when Jesus was in front of him, for his arms began to shake and his eyes began to water. He let go of his escort’s arm and
found the face of Jesus. The blind man felt the rough tangle of Jesus’ beard and smelled sweat from his body. He had heard Jesus had no home. Perhaps they shared some suffering. Yet Jesus could see, and not just physically. The blind man no longer chose to just believe; he chose to see from his heart as he touched the face of God but still lived.
Jesus asked the man, “What do you want me to do for you?” His voice was gentle, as if it could hush the world.
“Lord,” said the man, and he noticed his voice trembled as he addressed Jesus as God, “I want to see!”
And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.”
Instantly the man blinked in sights. Blurs became lines; lines became colored dimensions. All who witnessed praised God with him. The man who had been blind from birth could see, and he left his home on the streets to follow Jesus.
A Prayer for You:
For my friends who are unsure of their job status, Jesus is present and will provide. For
my friends who feel sick, Jesus will heal. For my friends who feel isolated, Jesus will bring creativity in the home. For my friends who are anxious about the future, Jesus will calm. Jesus, you are the living God. Jesus, you are loving. Jesus, you are kind. Jesus, you bring peace. Jesus, you have called my friend by name and said, “Do not be afraid, for I have not given you a spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” Bring us to the place where we can say with great faith, “Lord, I want to see!”