And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished. For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.” But they understood none of these things. This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front 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 commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. Luke 18:31-43
My first view of the world, besides from my mother's arms, was from a sling hammock, hung between the back and front seats of our family car. We were moving from California to New York,and I was four or five months old. We stopped and saw friends and family along the way. We stopped on the Navajo Reservation to visit old family friends and am told was passed around by the women and weighed on the scales at the trading post. My world view began as an observer and traveler on a long journey, and it continues to be that.
Jesus was on the road with his disciples, traveling together on what would be their final journey. The disciples, though warned had no idea what they were facing, ignorant and oblivious even when they were told of the dangers. Even on that last journey together, Jesus took the time to heal and to touch those in need with love. He could have set aside compassion and focused on the final battles ahead. Instead, he stopped for the cries of the man born blind, who, once healed, followed Jesus on his journey. There was great joy and celebration because of one man who cried out to God. In this season, when we all get busy with preparations and gatherings, may we hear the invitation to cry out to God and to stop along the way. God is always ready with compassion and healing, God is always lingering with the people in need.
Today, I ask God to let me be present every step of the way today, listening and compassionate, no matter the task ahead. May we not be so focused that we forget to love, not so busy that we forget to hear, and not so caught up that we forget to be moved with compassion. May we take to our roads, with the heart of God, which is always more ready to love and heal than we are to ask. And may we not make anything more important than the cries of those in need today.