As we make our life’s journey it’s such a delight to have something pop out at us from monotonously familiar ground. I bet we miss a great deal in life simply because we don’t look closer at the ground we’ve been over.
Scores of times I have heard the story of You and the blind Bartimaeus; but have I really listened to it? This time, unlike any time before, I am riveted by Your words: “What do you want me to do for you?” No miracle You performed was an isolated incident. Each was a teaching for the ages and an insight into God’s relationship with man. This relationship, from our birth to our death, is our rapprochement to Your continually asked question: “What do you want me to do for you?” In this question is a summary of the whole history of God and man as it proceeds from the divine will. Our answers characterize our relationship with You; for You constantly in our daily lives ask us: “What do you want me to do for you?” And You wait for our answer.
If we consider the possibilities of our answers, in all seriousness, an amazing thing happens: we want You to do for us what You are already doing, what You always have done, and what we believe You always will do – love us and draw us to Yourself. The answers are in our restless hearts which yearn to rest in You.
“Lord, that I might see,” was Bartimaeus’s answer. Did he, as we are accustomed to imagine, mean his physical sense of sight or did he mean to be truly enlightened in a way beyond physical sight? Both were within Your power and maybe it was both he meant, and You granted him.
In another place, at another time, You were in a crowd and You asked another question full of deeper meaning: “Who touched me?” This question, like the one to Bartimaeus, may not have really meant to pertain to one of the five senses. It may not be at all about a tactile stimulus and where it came from. As the disciples pointed out, in such a crowd how could such a question be asked? But that may not be what You meant. It was the belief, hope, and need of that woman that touched Your heart and tapped Your grace. In the same way, among the crowds of mankind, You look for and await someone to “touch” You, and You will say: “What do you want me to do for you?”