This is an illustration that I wrote several years ago after reading Luke 18:35-43. I pictured the scene vividly, looking something like this.
The scent of my own sweat was heavy that day as I sat on the edge of the road near Jericho. I listened to the cicadas buzzing, keeping my ears tuned for the sound of footsteps. There hadn’t been many travelers on the road that day. I ran my fingers inside my empty alms bowl, wondering if I would be able to find a meal that evening – my only meal for the day. My stomach growled at the thought of food, and I sighed.
In the distance I heard voices, coming towards me slowly. Before long, multitudes of people were passing me by on every side, pressing me to stand and pushing me further off the road. Confused, I asked where all these people were coming from and someone told me, “The Great Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, is passing by Jericho!” The Rabbi? Jesus? Could this be the great teacher I’d heard so much about? My cousin told me of how He’d recently healed ten lepers in a village of Galilee. There was rumor that He was the Messiah, the one we’d waited for, our Redeemer. I heard that He healed the blind before. Surely He could heal me. But how would He even see me? There were many people here. I heard voices all around me. How could I get His attention? How do I even know where He is?
Before I could stop myself I lifted my voice and began to cry out, “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” I knew I looked like a madman. “Jesus! Have mercy on me!” I felt heat rush up my face in embarrassment as I struggled to make myself heard over the crowd of voices. The people closest to me grew quiet and I could feel the judgmental stares. I pushed aside my shame and continued to cry, “Have mercy on me, Jesus! Jesus!” Someone shoved against me roughly and said, “Be quiet man! Don’t disturb the master with your yelling!” Even still, as the crowd continued to move past me I lifted my voice louder, straining to make myself heard. My mouth and throat were coated with dust stirred by the crowd. I couldn’t stop now! I had hope. Hope that I would see the Son of God. Desperation grew in me and I cried out with urgency, “Son of David, have mercy on me! Jesus! Have mercy on me!“
I soon realized that the constant shove toward the city ceased. I paused to listen, trying to understand why they stopped. In the distance a voice gave a command that I couldn’t quite hear. People around me started murmuring and whispering. I heard a woman ask, “What is the Master going to say to him?” Him? Who did she mean? Someone nearby muttered in frustration, “The whole crowd is stopping because that blind fool couldn’t keep his mouth shut!” I don’t think he cared that I heard him. I felt the stillness grow before I heard it. Suddenly, a man took hold of my arm and spoke, “The Master would like to see you. I will lead you to Him.” One of His followers began to lead to me through the crowd to the place where Jesus stood. I stumbled behind him, sure that my beating heart could be heard by all those standing in silence around me.
You did not need to tell me the moment I stood before the Son of David. His very presence was one of authority – yet not authority that induced fear. Rather, my heart became still in perfect peace. The multitude collectively held their breath, awaiting His words. Would He rebuke me? Touch me? Send me away? He simply asked me a question, “What do you want me to do for you?” Relief flooded my mind, I felt as though I were a child being offered a wish for my greatest desire. But this was no wish – the man before me was the very Son of God who could bring the impossible to pass. Overcome with emotion, my request came through a sob, “Lord, that I may receive my sight!” Oh! I will never forget His words to me! “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” Immediately my eyes were opened and I saw! Oh, the light! The Light! The Light of the World flooded my darkness. And from that moment forward I knew I would follow Him.
I plan on following this with a post about the desperate cries of our hearts. But in the meantime…
Have you ever cried out in desperation? What was the response?