What Do You Want Me To Do For You?

Matthew 20:29-34 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

Didn’t Jesus know that the deepest desire of these men’s hearts would be to see again? The God-in-the-flesh would know their thoughts, know their daily struggles because of their blindness. Their plea for mercy would surely be enough to show what they are asking for. A miracle. This Jesus that heals and tells stories and feeds the multitudes, they know what He can give them.

But Jesus asks them. They answer, their faith pouring out in the simple request that will change their life. Faith to believe that Jesus can heal them too, can do the absolute impossible in compassion.

What a question. It won’t get it out of my head as we endure the heat of what is supposed to be rainy season but it has been a week with no sign of a single drop of relief. As I haul water to wash dishes, bending low over a sink made for someone shorter than me, wishing for simple things like running water through pipes. Then I’m digging in the dirt, pushing a few little seeds down deep and putting together the parallels to our work here. Planting Gospel seeds, telling stories, nothing visible yet on the surface. For me? I respond to Jesus’ question. What do I want you to do? There are easy answers that rise up first. I want the smooth road! I don’t want it to be so hard. I want something comfortable, more comfortable than living this village life. I want clean feet for a change, not constantly walking dusty paths. I want a solution to our never-ending water situaiton, no fear of rejection.

But the blind men asked for the impossible. They could have asked for money, a way to get by and keep living the life they had been living. Their faith changed the answer. Where is my faith? Am I asking God for the impossible here? It is impossible that there could be multitudes of believers in this hard, rocky land, seeds that burst forth and grow and mature and produce much fruit. Am I asking for God to bring about the harvest, believing that He will do that?

The pots with the seeds don’t yet have cilantro and amaranth and sweet basil pushing to the surface. I’m still waiting, still watering the dirt, and checking expectantly. The stories of Jesus that have been told, the prayers prayed for people and over people, those seeds are still under the surface too and I’m waiting to see what God will do. He is stretching my faith, pushing me to respond with an expectation far greater than I could imagine as He asks me, “What do you want me to do?”

Doing a little gardening
Photo credit: Kristin T.

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