Day after day, the blind man sits on the same corner near the temple, his alms bowl outstretched in soiled hands, his voice pleading with each passerby to show mercy upon him. He prays for the musical tinkle of coins in his bowl and listens for approaching footfall of human or beast before his cry goes before them. Some days are rewarding, others, barren, when his family comes for him as evening falls to guide him home, and the man acquiesces to their guiding touch, trusting in their love, wishing that he could do more for them.
"If only I had my sight," he says to his little nephew who guides him on this particular evening, "then, I would be of some worth to you and all whom I love."
"Oh, Uncle, you always say that," chides his nephew. "Don't you know that we love you just the way you are?"
"And, for that, I am grateful, dear Jacob, but I have spent so many years in this darkness and have been told by thoughtless many that the sins of my parents caused my blindness, I want only to see to prove that my parents, our lineage, were faithful to God and did nothing that would bring shame upon their household and that we prayed to our God always."
"Is that what you really want, Uncle Nathan, to be able to see again? Wouldn't you rather be rich instead?"
"No, no, for I am rich already in family and in the love of God. I want to see so I can see, and not just imagine, your handsome face, to meet your eyes looking at me, to not depend on the kindness of strangers to make my living, but to be the one who gives kindness to the less fortunate."
Jacob is quiet for several moments as they shuffle along the dusty road and turn down the lane that leads to home, their noses filled with the aromatic scents of evening meals being prepared in the houses they pass.
"Uncle," he asks, "do you think this Jesus that everyone is talking about could heal you? We heard today that He is on His way here tomorrow and should pass right by your regular post. If He comes by, will you ask Him?"
"Jesus, coming here?" Nathan exclaims. "Praise be to God! The Son of David, the Messiah, coming here? Are you sure?"
"As far as I know. I'll get you back to your place extra early tomorrow so you can ask Him to heal you when He passes by."
"Glory be to God! I will ask Him and ask boldly. Surely, the Son of Man will hear my cry. Oh, Jacob, dare I even sleep tonight?"
"It's dark whether you open your eyes or keep them shut. I guess that's up to you."
Nathan throws back his head in a hearty laugh and gives his nephew's hand an affectionate squeeze.
"You just wake me up, Jacob, and make sure I'm there to meet Him."
"I will," the boy giggles, "and, tomorrow, I'll stay with you just to be sure. I want to see this man, Jesus, for myself."
If Jesus were to stand before you at this moment and ask, "What would you have me do for you?", what would be your response? I am so envious of the blind man who knew exactly what he wanted without hesitation or second thoughts. Too often, I find myself longing for or asking God for things before I've prayed about them and listened for His answers. I know that it should be His priority list, not mine, His time, not mine, His will, not mine. I can't help but stand in awe of the boldness of this blind man who knew with conviction in his soul what he needed through God's redeeming love. Jesus saw the faith of this man and it was the faith that healed him.
May we, like the blind man, remember that Jesus stands before us, asking constantly, "What would you have me do for you?", and may we, as undeserving but beloved heirs, know that our prayers are answered even when it seems they are not, for our merciful Christ and our loving Father, through the Holy Spirit, are our audience of one.
Luke 18:43 Immediately, he regained his sight and followed Him, glorifying God.