"(Jesus) asked him, 'What do you want me to do for you?' (The blind man) said, 'Lord, let me see again.'"
There were no "handicapped accessible" reserved seating locations back then. No braille ATM machines. No "talking crosswalks" for the visually impaired. Nope. If you had the misfortune of being blind, you were simply out of luck. Period. Thus, forced to get by via begging.
So everyday he sat there. Along the roadside. Waiting for travelers so he could ask for some spare change. Everyday. But his ears worked. Very well. He'd heard about Jesus The man who had miraculous powers. Miraculous! And one day, who so happened to come along, but this very same Jesus.
"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" he cried. (Note: By saying 'Son of David,' he was acknowledging that Jesus was indeed the Messiah!) "SHUT UP!" the people around him scolded. But the man cried out even louder. "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus heard him... and called him over. "What do you want me to do for you?"
I imagine he could have answered Jesus in a number of ways. 'Make me rich' (so he could stop begging). 'Get back at all those who have put me down & insulted me over the years' (which had to have been demoralizing). 'Let me find someone to love me' (it must have been very lonely for him). But he didn't ask for any of those. He asked to be able to see again. Now we may think that was a no-brainer (like, duh!?!). But do you honestly imagine that he woke up that morning thinking he'd be healed today? No. Another day of begging. The same old, same old... period.
So he came to his usual place and did what he always did. Beg for money. But when Jesus came by, he suddenly was given the chance to voice his deepest desire... a desire that no one else but Jesus could meet. "Lord, let me see again."
I wonder how we'd respond if pressed to give voice to our deepest desire (a desire that ONLY Jesus could meet - no one else!)? Oh, we may think we know what we want (financial security, a bigger house, a better job, Dallas Cowboys season tickets, an HDTV (!), etc.)... but when we find ourselves face to face with the Savior of the World, might we have a new perspective?
'Tis the season to be making gift wish lists, right? What might you put on your "deepest desire" list for Jesus this Christmas? And might we be able to shout out to Him for mercy? Or are we simply content to keep quiet and not make a scene... to continue life the way we've been going along?
I see we still have much to learn from this blind man...