You are blind and have been so from birth. Though you have seen countless doctors and specialists, taken medication, and used ointments, nothing and no one has been able to help you. Your hopes have been dashed time and time again. The constant disappointment has left you bitter.
One day you hear that a healer has come to your town. Though part of you is excited, you also feel very skeptical. You have heard of many “healers” before. They all come to nothing. There are rumors that this healer is different, that many blind people have been healed by this person, and yet you still sit in the same spot on the same street each day, begging for your food, hoping to hear the sound of tinkling coins falling into your cup. At least these coins are real, you say to yourself.
You sit there on the side of the road and listen to the sound of people’s footfalls as they walk around you, occasionally dropping a coin or two into your cup. No one says your name. No one even knows your name.
Then, you sense the foot traffic increasing. Your hope rises slightly - more people could mean more coins but it also means more people tripping over you. At least once a day, someone kicks you (you hope by accident, but you’re never sure), and your cup goes flying, along with all your coins. You panic when this happens, especially if it is late in the day and all your coins are lost. Many nights you have gone to bed hungry.
You hear someone murmuring that the “healing preacher” has returned to your town and is coming this way. In spite of your skepticism, your heart begins to pound.
You wonder how you might meet him, then realize how pointless it would be to try to find him. You are invisible down here on the road. You hate yourself for hoping, but knowing he is nearby causes you acute pain, as you are powerless to reach him.
Tormented by these thoughts, you suddenly register the sound of a crowd approaching. You feel legs brushing past you as people pass. “What’s happening?” you call out.
“Jesus of Nazareth is here!”
This is your chance! If you don’t find him, the moment will be lost forever.
“Jesus?” The sound squeaks out of you. You realize that you haven't actually spoken out loud for days.
“Jesus,” you call out, though your voice hardly registers with all the noise on the street.
You know you are largely unseen on the streets of this town, but you lift your head, fill your lungs, and cry out with everything you have...
“JESUS, SON OF DAVID. HAVE MERCY ON ME”
Voices, close around you, from every direction...
“Shut up.” “Get lost.” “Jesus doesn't want to be bothered by the likes of you. Beat it.”
The words cut like knives, animating the shameful chorus within you. “They're right,” you think to yourself, “What am I doing? I’m nobody. He has no time for me. He can't even hear me. He won't even see me.” All the rejections, disappointments, failures you have ever known come cascading over you…. You have struggled for so many years. Why should God care about you now? The voices trying to silence you only confirm your own suspicions, that you should just be quiet and go away.
As the crowd jostles you and trips over you, you suddenly feel someone dragging you to your feet.
“Hey! What are you doing? Let go of me!” you yell.
“He wants to see you,” someone says. “He's calling for you,” says another. “It's your lucky day!”
You are brought up to your feet and led slowly a few steps away and then stopped.
The crowd grows silent.
A kind voice quietly asks, “What do you want me to do for you, my friend?”
What do you say?
Photo: Cherry Laithang on Unsplash.com
Music: Endless Inspiration by Monument Music on Uppbeat.io
(Crowd: (https://freesound.org/s/413925/ )