‘Now as he approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." He shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!"’ Luke 18:35-39
The beauty in this story is in the irony. The blind man, Bartimaeus, could see what those who still had two good eyes could not. Jesus was so much more than his traveling companions knew or – if you’ll forgive the pun – could see. They saw Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth, a teacher, a holy man, someone they wanted to follow to be sure. But the sightless man saw salvation in the form of God’s promised Messiah.
Do you ever feel that way? That you can see more than meets the eye? Have you ever been in a crowded room at a social gathering where everyone is making small talk—about the food, about the night’s events, about the weather (yawn!)—and you were seeing a different picture? Maybe I’m just weird (okay I know I am!) but sometimes when I’m at those kinds of social events, I look around at all the people and tell myself, ‘God loves all these people—every single one of them.
And yet they are each unique individuals; completely different from each other. Every man and woman here is an original in the eyes of God, with his or her own special story, maybe of pain and suffering, but also of hopes and joys. He knows this man’s fear of bankruptcy and that woman’s insecurity about her weight. He sees back into the past which has brought them here and beyond this day/night until that soul returns to Him.
When I begin to think like that, it’s easy for me to get lost and sometimes I get ‘caught’ at it. People accuse me of daydreaming. Yes, I’m a daydreamer, but I also like to think that I’m a little “blind” when it comes to social functions. I don’t fit in and I’m frequently at a loss for words. Still when I’m seeing things in just that way, I am often reluctant to return to ‘real life’. I prefer to see as a socially blind person.
I wish I could have met Bartimaeus and talked with him. I would have asked him what he saw.
Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me a sinner.