Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A blind man sitting by the road. Meditation on Luke 18:25

Luke 18:25

A blind man sitting by the road.

First I am a man, second I am a father, third I am blind, fourth I am a beggar.
I am a victim of circumstances.
The crowds are going by, I heard the noise, the people walking, shoving, pushing, to hear someone speak, at though the words were pearls of great price. People knocked me as they walked ahead of Him - turning backward to catch a view of Him. They did not know I was sitting at the side of the road. Although, some of the people did. I have sat here for years. Asking for help but none came. Begging is such a soul destroying existence, especially when you are blind. Often I don’t know what people are giving me, or throwing at me, and of course I fight the rats for the crusts others give me. No, it is no sort of life, being a blind beggar. I am near to giving up completely, there is no light in this darkness.
It was not like that in the beginning. People would help, nurse me, feed me, give me water. But then it got too much. My wife left to find someone who could support her and the children . Oh how I miss them. But they have gone - to greener pastures. I used to be a shrewd business man till the attack - when I was hit by a plank of wood on the back of my head. Then darkness surrounded me. I thought it would pass. The doctors did not know what to do. They seldom do. So I waited and prayed. I prayed to any God that had ears to hear - not one of them heard or answered.
I was always clean and tidy, a proud dresser in those days. I tried to keep up my self respect but… how can one when no-one helps and the attempts I made were ridiculed. My hair I would brush, but it was always sticking up in odd places because of my double crown. The filth around the streets sticks like glue to your hands, face and feet. No matter how often I wash apparently there was always some dirt left, a mark to laugh at. So I gave up. Now I go to the pool only to drink. Why try anymore? My good is never enough. Dad used to say that to me. “Try harder son. Do it better. Here let me, I’ll do it myself.” I loved dad but I was always a disappointment to him. He wanted me to be a rabbi or a captain in the army. But I became a tax collector - I was good with figures. I wasn’t too hard on people. But if you were too lenient your area would be taken from you. So I got my pound of flesh but no more. Till one day when one of my tenants could not pay. He too was desperate and about to give up like me now. So he picked up a plank of wood to knock me out. I don’t know what happened to him. But I pity the poor bugger. He was only doing what any captured animal would do - fight for freedom. I hope he got his freedom, the soldiers can be harsh round here. Not paying taxes is a serious crime, with heavy punishments and no pity. “I forgive him” there I’ve said it. The anger and hatred has been killing me. I have sat here and been haunted by his terrified face and his plank of wood for 15 years. Now look at me. I am in the same place as him. I have nothing, no hope and no way out. Poor beggar, I feel for him. We are so incredibly unaware of each other's needs. Society has made us hard and bitter. Love is gone - every man for himself. But why? So the rich can get richer and the poor - die. Hum.
“Oh grief - watch out feller. That was my hand you trod on.” I can’t make myself any smaller than I am. It is a battle, some of the time I need to be seen - to get food. The rest of the time I want to hide.
What’s going on? Who is here? Why is everyone so preoccupied. “What’s happening?” I asked. “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,” they told me.
Jesus of Nazareth! Something hit me like that plank of wood. It is Him! I have been waiting and had given up. But here He is, Jesus my only hope. My only light in the darkness. I had heard of his wonders. I had heard about other miracle workers coming by before but this one is different. He is from the line of the king - David. I could hear Him speak soft, gentle, but controlled. He spoke with the authority I have only heard in the Emperor’s voice. My heart was racing, oh where are my legs. Stand up man, you will miss Him. Hurry. I kept getting knocked out of the way by people who wanted to get closer, for a better view. Ah... a better view. If only I…
I cried out “Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.” I knew He was my only hope. He could do something about my situation. Maybe he could get someone to find my wife; my children; to stop the fleas, the scurvy - my sore dry lips, the crusting around my eyes. Oh if only I could speak to Him.
“Jesus son of David,” I called all the louder - “have mercy on me.” Too late I thought, He’s gone, just like the other Gods, all too busy to hear. Too many other important people. Not a poor, blind beggar. The story of my life, no one listens. The din was loud as He passed, people telling others to be quiet so they could hear the Master. Telling me to stop shouting, because they could not hear His words. - Those words, - what, - of gold? All I heard Him say was “love and forgiveness, this brings the light and I am the light.” He is the light.
Oh, I need His light, the sun has gone. I need some light in this darkness. “Son of David have mercy on me.” I called as loud as I could, I knew He could bring back the light. I knew this was my time “Jesus.”
He stopped. The crowd hushed. What was happening? What was He saying now. I couldn’t hear. Someone came to me, a man with a rough voice. “Get up, Jesus had called for you. Come to the Master.”
My heart raced. A thousand thoughts ran through my head. This is the moment I longed for; but what do I say? Oh my life, my kids, my wife, the man with the log, dad, the Emperor, the rats, the restless nights, the empty stomach, the ache in my heart for love.
My heart burned with a new desire, to be in Master’s presence. If only I could touch His hand. I will follow Him until I drop then I will rest in peace.
“What do you want of Me?” he asked. He picked up my hand and touched my cheek. Strong hands, soft, but callused. Calloused like my heart. And what was that smell - sweet like incense, the incense of a king, but bitter like myrrh - sorrow - like my life. “What do you want me to do for you?” He asked again.
“Lord I want to see.” I could not catch these words, they just bubbled up from within. The deepest desire of my heart, to see again, to be freed from this dark prison.
Jesus said “Receive your sight your faith has healed you.” And as quickly as my sight left, it returned. I could see. Praise the God of all, I can see. With faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, He healed me. I looked into His eyes deep brown, big, with so much love in them - for me. He healed my sight but into my heart- that look of love poured a healing balm. It melted the bitterness and the hopelessness. My heart leapt with joy. Praise of God bubbled up from my whole being. I had been freed. I was a captive - now I am freed. Jesus healed every part of me. This Jesus the son of David, the hope of Israel stopped for me. Oh praise God. You came from your throne and healed me, a worthless blind sinner.
I followed Him everywhere. I could not bear to be out of His presence. This man of power and authority. This man of love, compassion and mercy. The love in His eyes could melt the hardest stone - and it did - my heart. It will continually shout the praises of our God. The God who sees and hears and comes to His creation to heal, to minister His love.
Everyone around me saw His mercy to me. I was blind and now I see - they praised God. Oh heaven came to the streets of Jericho that day.
Praise the Lord my soul.
Let everything within me praise the living God.
“Give the Father all the glory,” He said. “I only do that which I see the Father do. Give Him praise.” When He said the word Father His countenance melted into even greater love, it is the love I have for my bambinos. The love of their daddy, their Abba. Oh how my heart sings with joy at my awesome God.

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