« Jesus of Nazareth is passing by » (Luke 18:37).
All of the elements of a conversion story are here. A blind beggar on the side of road hears a commotion and asks what is going on. When he hears that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by, he cries out for pity. Though some try to quiet him, Jesus has heard his cry and has the blind man brought to him. « What do you want me to do for you? » he asks, and the beggar says, « Lord, let me see. »
On the road to faith, we all begin as blind beggars on the sidelines. We cannot fully participate in life’s purpose because we cannot see. We can only beg and wait. But when Jesus passes by, this is our chance to get up and get moving. Our cry is the first prayer, and God hears that prayer. Even if others resist and discourage us, if we persist, we will find Jesus.
His question is crucial: « OK, here you are, so what do you want me to do for you? » The blind beggar prays the first and perfect prayer, « Lord, let me see. » Once we can see, everything else becomes clear. We then know what to do and can do it. The man can see for the first time in his life, and with this new ability, it is clear that there is only one thing worth doing. That is to leave behind your life of blindness and begging at the side of the road and to follow Jesus.
Jesus asks each of us today, « What do you want me to do for you? » What will you ask for?