Every Wednesday in our weekly routine my daughters and I encounter the same man. He wears a black and red jacket with a cap bearing an unfamiliar insignia. He has tattoos on his face and usually carries a sign asking for money to help his children.
The first week, it was easy to give him a small donation. The second week, I only had a granola bar to offer. The third week, another contribution. But something happened as time went on. Week by week I gave a small food or money gift, but six weeks later, I got annoyed and didn’t give him anything.
As I accelerated past him through the familiar intersection, guilt overwhelmed me. Why was I annoyed? Because this seems to be his way of life? Because I wanted the money or snack for myself? No, I was irritated because of what he revealed in me: an unwillingness to ask.
Unlike me, scripture records another man on the side of the road who knew Who and how to ask.
One day, Jesus walked with a crowd into Jericho when a blind man yelled for His attention. “Stop it and be quiet!” the crowd said to hush him up quickly, but the blind man persisted, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus asked them to bring the man to him. Jesus posed this simple question, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man was face-to-face with One able to help him. He didn’t waste time explaining his life story, asking for a little food, or even begging for a blessing. “Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
Direct, bold, and effective, he spoke fearlessly and full of faith.
Seeing through his dirty, dusty exterior, Jesus immediately grants his request. “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.”
With nothing to offer Jesus but faith, the beggar stated his greatest need and desire – sight!
Do Good – Keep a few extra dollars or snacks in your car to hand out when you have the opportunity. Don’t judge; bless.
Back in 2010, the tattoo-faced stranger I met was thankfully in his usual spot the next Wednesday. Despite a rare green light, I slowed the car and got his attention. I don’t know his story, but I know he asks. My prayer is that he will be blessed, and he will ask Jesus to meet his deepest need – sight.
My prayer for myself is that I will ask. Blind, dirty, dusty and with nothing to offer, may I be fearless and faithful. When I can’t articulate my deepest need, I borrow the prayer from the blind beggar:
Lord, I want to see! Amen.
Q4U: How do you react when others ask for help?
originally posted April 15, 2010