Our DeeplyLoved Lent series is drawing to a close. We’ve got just a few more days until Easter. Today is Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. Traditionally, it’s the day we remember Jesus and his disciples sharing the Last Supper, and Jesus’ selfless service of washing their feet. We remember his agonized prayers in the garden of Gethsemane. Our reading today reminds us of the generous nature that Christ had, even in the light of his own impending suffering.
When interrupted by two blind men beside the road, Jesus does not ignore. Neither does he offer a “drive by healing” in which he simply meets their need by quick miracle. Instead, he engages. He asks a question, and listens. And then, responds and touches, heals, restores. And then, invites them to follow him. The men respond with joy.
Today, try the Presence Practice. Here’s most of it:
Read Matthew 20:29-34. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Let go of distractions and tensions. Give yourself just a few moments to get settled. Then, imagine that Jesus is standing in front of you, or even sitting beside you. How do you feel about seeing him?
Imagine that Jesus looks at you kindly and says, “What do you want me to do for you?” Do not edit yourself or try to figure out what you are “supposed” to say in response. Let your answer come from deep within you. Don’t be surprised or afraid if your gut response to this question is something unexpected. Relax in the fact that Jesus already knows your innermost thoughts–spin and image management are unnecessary. Just let the truth come.
Know that you are deeply loved no matter what wants or needs are within you. There is no “correct” answer to this question–any honest answer will strengthen your connection with Jesus, which is what he wants.
(For further study, contrast the way James and John, Jesus’ disciples, respond to his question “What do you want?” as compared to the blind men. Which pair of men had more spiritual insight? See Matthew 20:2-34)
Please leave us a comment: what was this exercise like for you? What insights came? Were you surprised at how you answered Jesus’ question?
Yes – i’m so glad you added “Do not edit yourself or try to figure out what you are “supposed” to say in response.” it’s so easy to give the ‘spiritual’ answer – the one they taught me in Sunday School.
Thanks Ben. You’re right. And I think our spiritual growth is hindered by our fears and “supposed to” thoughts. Thanks for your comment.