A place to ponder the awe and mystery of God in everyday life.

This lenten journey continues with the life-changing questions that Jesus asked.  How are the questions changing you as you answer the questions that Jesus is asking?  Today’s question is from Matthew’s gospel.

There were two blind men sitting by the roadside.  When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Lord have mercy on us, Son of David!”   The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, “Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!”  Jesus stood still and called them, saying, “What do you want me to do for you?”  Matthew 20:30-32

When I was in nursing school, I was asked to accompany a group of blind women on a cross-country skiing weekend.  I was to help with any emergencies and be the diabetic resource person.  Each sighted person was paired with a blind skier for the first afternoon.  We skied side by side, sharing a center pole.  The woman who skied with me rested her mittened hand above mine and leaned her arm into mine to ‘feel’ where I was leading.

The area where we skied had some steep hills.  I remember standing at the top of one of the hills; me on the right, our shared pole in the center, and “Diane” on my left.

The wind was blowing, there was snow in the air, and the hill was as steep as any I had ever skied down on cross-country skies.  I bent my left arm and her right forearm leaned trustingly against it.  I wasn’t at all confident that I could get myself to the bottom without plunging headfirst into the snow, let alone keep a blind woman upright who was depending on me to get her safely to the bottom.

“Let’s go!” Diane said enthusiastically.

“You wouldn’t say that if you could see how steep this hill is!” I responded uncertainly.  But my choices were to go forward or backtrack a long ways.  My partner was eager to ski on.  “Keep leaning on me!” I yelled into the wind.   “Okay, let’s go!”

I pushed off and balanced against the gravity of the hill and our gaining momentum, my partner leaning into me.  I worked hard to keep our shared center pole in the air without tripping either of us.  My right ski snowplowed all the way down but we flew rapidly into the wind despite my efforts to slow our speed.  My blind partner squealed with delight and joy.

My heart was racing at least as fast as our skis; and I breathed a prayer of thanks when at last we made it safely to the bottom; still upright.

XCSkiing

“Oh, that was terrific!” laughed my partner.  “Can we do it again?!”

In today’s scripture, two blind men yelled out to Jesus, and he stopped to listen to them.  I imagine most people ignored the blind men, or stopped only long enough to toss a few coins their way.  Jesus stopped.  He heard their pleas.  He cared enough to ask them a question.  He really listened to the answer.  And he acted on their hopes and dreams.

Did the blind men have unrealistic faith in Jesus?  How would you answer the question that Jesus asked the blind men at the side of the road, “What do you want me to do for you?”  And how would the story end if you and Jesus were in a dialogue?

I imagine all of us have come to Jesus at one time or another with an urgent plea for a very real need.  What happened?  Do you still believe that Jesus can do miraculous things?

Prayer for today:

You who are the Great Physician, thank you that you care enough to stop, to listen, and to answer me when I call.  Give me faith to believe that you continue to answer prayer.   Help me to be still that I might recognize when you answer me, and respond with a grateful heart.  In your holy name I pray.  Amen

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Comments on: "Beyond Question: What do you want me to do for you?" (3)

  1. I am also aware of how my skiing partner leaned into me to know where she should go. Though I am a very fallible human guide, it is a nice metaphor. Lean on Christ to lead and guide us – with far more certainty than I could offer my partner! – into the future.

  2. What a great story to put side-by-side with the blind beggars. I’m always caught up short by “What do you want me to do?” I find myself assuming that they want to be gifted with sight again, but then wondering if that’s the greatest desire they have. My husband is handicapped and there are times when he takes great offense if someone steps in to do something for him. We have an arrangement that he asks for help when needed, and I don’t assume he needs help to do something. This interchange between Jesus and the beggars reminds me of that not making assumptions but allowing them the human dignity of naming their needs.

    • Thanks for your comment, Amy. It is so easy to presume on other’s needs. I try to remember when I am visiting with someone, to ask them how they would like me to pray that day. I am often surprised and humbled at their request, because if I had prayed on my own, I likely would have prayed something very different than their heart’s desire.

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