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What do you want me to do for you?

by davesandel on May 27th, 2021

Thursday, May 27, 2021                     (today’s lectionary)

What do you want me to do for you?

Bartimaeus a blind man, sat by the roadside begging. He heard Jesus of Nazareth passing and cried out, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” Many rebuked him to be silent.

Since I heard Ruth Haley Barton’s talk about Bartimaeus ten years ago sometimes I sit beside the road myself, too often blind, calling out the Jesus Prayer, “Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!”

Waking up from a 71-year-old’s night of disturbing disconnected dreams, yesterday morning I cried out, Good morning, Lord. Has to be out loud, those words. Our Father, who art in heaven. Has to be out loud. Jesus, son of God! I hear a whispered, darkened warning, “Be careful, don’t believe too much.” I throw caution to the winds and listen for Jesus. Cry out, he says, and so I do. HAVE MERCY ON ME, A SINNER.

Take courage, get up! Jesus is calling you. He threw aside his cloak and rushed to Jesus.

How do I know it’s Jesus? Because when it’s Jesus, he always says, What do you want me to do for you? There’s no hesitation in his words, nor any hesitation in my answer. If I can just figure out the answer … what DO I want Jesus to do for me? Change my heart, O God, make it ever new.

We took Miles and Jasper home after half an hour romping in the pool at Evolve Apartments, where we live. Our trip north took us down highways and byways through a sometimes pouring rain. We watched an iridescent, sharp-beaked bird hop around in the green grass apron beside a stop light. Back and forth it hopped, and then in a flash our shimmering bird raised its wings and flew up and over the cars, away, away, heigh-o silver, away! Caught without wings in our top-heavy Prius car, we waited for the green light. I wanted to Be the Bird.

“Master, I want to see.” And Jesus told him, “Go on your way. Your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight.

Bartimaeus was a poor man. Everything he owned was in his cloak.

Jesus called, and he threw aside his cloak and rushed to Jesus.

No way was he going back to get it.

Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

My story your story the story of Bartimaeus is all the story of returning day by day after day to wonder. Fly away home. Not only for small children is this wonder of being God’s kids in God’s world. Be the Kid. Relish it now.

Now will I recall God’s works. What I have seen … as the rising sun is clear to all, so the glory of the Lord fills all his works. Everlasting is his wisdom, for all eternity one and the same. O, how beautiful! Even to the spark and fleeting vision.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and prophet and encourager of others, died last year, at last, he was 101. God gave him such long life, and in it he praised the creation and raised up a banner of joy from his San Francisco City Lights Bookstore. He wrote. O, how he wrote.

I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder …

I am waiting

to get some intimations

Of immortality

By recollecting my early childhood

And I am waiting

For the green mornings to come again

Youth’s dumb green fields to come back again

God does not hesitate to speak to us, all we need to do is listen, and he will speak some more.

In your studio, the life I’ve given YOU, make pictures.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.

By the breath of his mouth, all the stars.

He gathers the waters of the sea in a flask,

In cellars he confines the deep.

Breathe in the brisk fresh air of sea and rain, the sunny skies, and fly away. Jesus is the light of the world. Follow him, listen to the call of Bartimaeus,  receive the gift of life.

(Sirach 42, Psalm 33, John 8, Mark 10)

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