Lord I Want to See

Luke 18:35-43

As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
A few weeks ago, I spent several days in Richmond for some training. On Thursday, I was in a hurry to make it out the door and only had about 15 minutes to quiet my soul in the presence of God. I felt led to pray emphatically that I would be given the opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with a stranger at some point in the day. I asked for eyes to see and ears to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit. Soon afterwards though, I had forgotten my prayer and went on about my day. After the training was finished I went to a nearby Starbucks where I logged on to one of my lectures for graduate school. I was sitting outside among a couple others on laptops enjoying their coffee. About ten minutes before the lecture ended, a disheveled man strolled up the sidewalk and inquired of the four sitting outside in the various tables. He asked to all, “does anyone have five dollars?” Nobody acknowledged his presence. It was as if he was invisible. I pulled one ear bud out, said I would finish in a few minutes and that I would come speak with him. He sat down at the last remaining table outside.

When the lecture ended, I walked over and introduced myself. I told him all I had was a debit card, but I would love to buy him a cup of coffee. I came back out with his coffee and asked him if I could pull up a chair. Jay and I chit-chatted for about five minutes before I followed Jesus’ method and asked him a probing question: “What are you looking for?” At this point the Holy Spirit took over the conversation. The glazed scales fell from his eyes and his beautiful blue eyes met mine for the first time. He went on to share that he wanted to find work and be able to not worry about where he would sleep every night. Even more than that, however, I think Jay just wanted to be seen and known. Following the guidance of the Spirit, I began sharing my story of addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. He barely blinked as I succinctly told him what I was like, what happened, and how my life was radically altered as I surrendered to Jesus. I continued to share that I didn’t think it was a coincidence that we met, and prophesied a vision of hope over his life. I could sense the others seated outside listening intently as I spoke blessings over Jay. As tears swelled in our eyes, we prayed and parted ways. About five minutes up the road, I was reminded of my forgotten prayer that morning. “Do you see now?”, God spoke.

Helen Keller once wrote that “the only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision”. So much of our lives are spent looking at everything yet seeing nothing. Without vision, we miss the moments for ministry that God readily provides. In Luke 18:35-43 we see the story of a man, broken and blind. Try and imagine the isolation and loneliness he must have felt every day. In addition to being blind, he was also invisible. Nobody saw him the way that Jesus did as he approached Jericho. Jesus engages him with a probing question and promptly recognizes the man’s faith. After his immediate healing, the man begins praising God. He was suddenly seen and known in a way he never had experienced before. More than that, all the others who witnessed it also praised God. The work of Christ is highly contagious. He multiplies our efforts with ripples we can’t even begin to comprehend. We all have a ministry laid out for us. God’s will is that you would join in with the movement of his Holy Spirit. We can make more of an impact than we realize, we just need the courage to step out in faith and willingness to step into the lives of others.

Pray

Father in Heaven, open my eyes that I may see someone in their suffering today. Help me to use my story of redemption to connect with them in the midst of darkness and pain. As Spirit-filled words flow from my mouth, may scales fall from their eyes and prison walls crumble. In Jesus name, Amen.

Zac Holt, September 29, 2020
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