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the Rev. Dr. Suse McBay at smcbay@stmartinsepiscopal.org .
What Do You Want Me to Do for You?
 
As Jesus and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and said, ‘Call him here.’ And they called the blind man, saying to him, ‘Take heart; get up, he is calling you.’ So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘My teacher, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Mark 10:46-52

What do you want me to do for you? ” Jesus asks Bartimaeus, a blind beggar at the roadside outside of Jericho.

You and I might think it’s self-evident: surely, he wants to see? Why would Jesus need to ask? What we think is self-evident became explicitly evident when Bartimaeus responds, “ My teacher, let me see again.

Yet it’s not always so simple. A Christian minister and friend of mine is in a wheelchair and spoke of how tiring it is when he goes forward for prayer that people assume he wants to walk when his bigger struggle is depression. They speak in ‘faith’ of his physical healing, seeing not the person but the wheelchair. Yet the work he actually wants the Lord to do is in many ways far more profound, even if it is unseen.

How often do we stop and ask someone what they really want when offering help? Or do we simply assume we know what they need and act accordingly? How often do we expect God to take care of the external things in our lives, forgetting that God sees us for who we are and connects with us where we are? He does not impose His will on us. He does not see problems, He sees people. He sees us in our cries for help. He meets us. And He asks us: “ What do you want me to do for you?

How will you reply?
The Rev. Dr. Suse E. McBay
Associate for Adult Christian Education and Prayer Ministries
This summer, you may also enjoy our Rector, the Rev. Dr. Russell J. Levenson’s newest summertime devotional  Bits of Heaven – A Summer Companion , released in March by Church Publishing and available from all major booksellers. Dr. Levenson encourages readers to slow down “toward that stillness that, in a particular way, reveals not only the nature of God but our own nature and God’s calling to us." Click  here  to see a video of him reading one of the book’s selections. Click  here  for more information about the book.