And they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; He is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed Him on the way.
Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. His little march up and down the driveway is like a miniparade. He is focused and determined—the perfect combination for a new walker. He pauses to notice a passing car or to reroute his push toy but then returns to his task. Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. And then in a moment’s notice, he stops in his tracks. Head tilted towards the sky, his face lights up with excitement as his tiny finger shoots towards the treetops. A plane! He hardly moves as the tiny speck in the sky inches slowly overhead—his finger following as though tracing a line. The plane disappears beyond the rooftop, and he looks to me with a proud sense of accomplishment. “Did you see it, Mama? Wasn’t it amazing?” he seems to say. Then just like that, he’s back to business. Pitter-patter.
To tell you the truth, I don’t think I have ever noticed a plane flying over our house, and we’ve lived here for three-and-a-half years. Not once can I recall noticing a plane. As it turns out, our neighborhood is in the shadow of a very well traveled landing route for planes coming into Dallas. I now know that hundreds of planes soar over my head every single day…and close enough to see! It took the wonder of a precocious and observant toddler to bring this to my attention…over and over and over again, each day. In a beautiful, new way, through Will’s wonder, I am learning to see.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus and His disciples encounter a blind man sitting by the side of the road. Upon hearing the commotion that the Messiah was passing by, the beggar creates a scene, desperate to attract the attention of Jesus. Though many try to silence his persistent cry, the blind man succeeds. Jesus calls him and asks a simple question, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The man responds with a simple, faith-filled answer, “Lord, I want to see.” He trusted that Jesus was able to do the impossible—to restore sight to a blind beggar. The Savior shows awesome mercy to a man as simple and desperate as you and me. Miraculously healed. Can you imagine what it must have been like for him to see?
I have thought so often of this particular account from Mark 10. A man, physically blind, seeks the thing he desperately needs: sight. Though I don’t know this physical need, I know it as a spiritual need. Daily, I need the Lord’s grace to give me eyes to see. To see my sin. To see my Savior. To see other people—their hurts and needs. To truly and clearly see.
An unexpected blessing of being involved in youth ministry is that you can’t help but revisit your own high school days. Whether they were glory days or days you’d just as soon forget, working with high school or college kids almost forces you to crack open the memory book. In this process, I have found plenty of laughs, but I have also studied components of “high school Ann” and found myself wishing I had done things differently. I loved high school—I had great friends, a loving family, and a resumé full of extra-curricular activities. Truthfully, I loved every minute of it. Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t hurting—but I know so, so many of my classmates were. I wish I had known that then. I wish I had seen the hurt—the pain of exclusion, the angst of not fitting in, the struggle of addiction, anxiety, and stress. I wish I had seen these things.
As believers, the Lord is gracious to give us new hearts and new eyes to see as He sees, and in His grace, He even gives us windows into our past to trace His faithfulness. As I look back at where I’ve been—and perhaps the ways I wish I had seen things differently—I find myself here, in this day. Oh how I long to see! How I long to see God’s glory in creation and in the spectacular and unique way He fashions His children. How I long to see the people who are hurting, broken, and desperate. How I long to see the things that break the Father’s heart…and the things that shout His praise. In my day-to-day life, I often live like a horse with blinders on his eyes; I can only see as far as the tip of my nose. God’s grace alone can remove those blinders and give me eyes to see—to see the wonderful, glorious things that make our hearts sing with praise and the heart-breaking things that bring us to our knees before the throne of grace.
It’s no secret—life with a toddler will cause you to see things in new ways. Will notices everything—a doodlebug crossing the sidewalk or a freckle on my arm that, to his dismay, just won’t come off despite his tiny finger’s persistent rub. He sees this world in an extraordinary, simple way. I beg the Lord daily that his little heart would see his Savior.
Pitter-patter. Pitter-patter. Look! See! A tiny plane flies overhead. Lord, we want to see. Give us eyes to see You.