The harsh command of a stranger.Dust gritted between my teeth and choked my throat with each breath.The heat was unbearable here, on a dirt road leading from the town of Jericho.This was the place I’d chosen to sit and ask for something, anything, from passersby.The ragged cloak I wore readily identified me as a blind man, a beggar and one of the least in society.
Tears of regret washed my face.What a worthless heir I was.
Timaeus, my father, was a well-respected man in the next city.That was the reason I chose this place to beg, to hide from my wretchedness.Perhaps the distance would take some of the sting from the reproach my father must surely feel.The reproach of having a blind beggar for a son.
I guessed the crowd before me was increasing, swelling in size because the confusion and noise increased.Sandaled feet moved faster past me with an air of excitement.I strained to catch words from passing voices.Yes, I was sure that was the name.Jesus of Nazareth was a coming down this very road.I wrapped my cloak a little tighter around me and sat up as tall as I could.But how would I know when He was near?Had He already passed me by?
My voice rang out in desperation.
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Like a drowning man, praying for a lifeline, my voice my only means of reaching Him.Calloused words of rebuke came from the crowd.
My answer to them was to cry out all the louder.
“Son of David, have mercy on me!”
It seemed time paused.The crowd quieted.Penetrating the darkness I felt a heavy, sweet presence.Once angry voices now filled with awe.
“Take courage, stand up!He is calling for you.”
In new-found strength I threw the cloak to the ground and leapt to my feet.This symbol of helplessness I would no longer need.Taking me by both hands, they led me to Him.The sweet presence I’d felt earlier increased with each step forward until I knew I must be standing in front of Him.
A voice strong and compassionate, a voice my heart knew must be His, asked simply, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
“Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”
Such a bold request from such a little man, I thought.But one does not go to a well and expect to return with a dry bucket.Does he?And here I stood before the living water of God.
Jesus said to me “Go; your faith has made you well.”
I blinked once, twice, three times.Blackness was dissolving.A brilliant profusion of color and light burst before my eyes.The next moment I was looking into what must have been the tender eyes of the One who healed me.
I staggered like a drunken man under His presence.Hands reached out to steady me.
Go my way?My ways were no longer my own.From now on His ways were my ways.Another traveler was added to the throng that followed the Nazarene on a dusty road that day.
The crowd parted around me and moved on.Yearning feet trampled into dust the tattered remains of a blind man’s past.
A re-telling of Mark 10:46-52