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Day 25—Wednesday, March 13

Luke 18:35-43

As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” Then he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he shouted even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and ordered the man 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 see again.” Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God, and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

Words in our English language that describe actions of all sorts are known as verbs. These are the parts of speech that move a story along and involve the planned and/or spontaneous motions or responses that tell our stories. The Scriptural passage portraying the vivid scene of the blind beggar man sitting by the roadside entrance to Jericho is full of these action words, as well as the important aspect of the interplay of his human senses that innervated his ability to function in the world.

Scientific study has taught us that our five senses are so highly integrated, to the extent that when one sense is compromised or no longer functions at all, the other senses sharpen in response.

Certainly, this was true in the case of the blind man as he sat by the road and heard the noise of the crowd while Jesus and his followers were passing by. His ears were ready to find out what his eyes could no longer tell him. He quickly asked someone nearby what all the ruckus was about and was told that Jesus of Nazareth was here… Without missing a beat, the man shouted out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd tried to hush him, but AGAIN “he shouted even more loudly, Son of David, have mercy on me! [Are you paying attention to the verbs?]

Jesus responded by asking what the man wanted of him, and ordered that the fellow come close by. The man said, “Lord, let me see again. Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.” (New OXFORD Annotated Bible, my underlining)

What enables one to persist in a repetitious activity even when the odds are against the wished-for positive outcome? Is it hard-headedness, lack of intellectual capacity to understand the audacity involved, or simply not knowing what else to do? No plan B?…. Or is it something deep down that believes there is HOPE for a positive to come out of a terrible loss?

I get it … my own emotional experience … a medical procedure that caused partial vocal cord paralysis in my larynx. As a singer, practicing choral director/organist and voice teacher, this devastating loss at the high point of my professional career was deadly. Thereafter, working with children and their developing voices in choral settings and private lessons helped to soothe the pain and give me purpose. Sacred music had been my foundation from early childhood in our church and musical family. I simply couldn’t understand why God had punished me and taken from me the gifts I used to glorify Him?

So, what happens when God persists in ‘calling’ you back when you’ve pretty much given up hope? Guessing I had to be open to hearing it in the middle of the night after we had started our retirement. The church we were attending had suddenly lost its organist, and I heard God’s call to step up in a part-time capacity. Seems God wasn’t through with me, and so back on the organ bench I went, and slowly began to try out the vocal cords to see if there were any redemptive qualities left…Turns out just enough to rejoin a choir later because of my strong musical ear…It’ll do!

The desire to try again and again, and to trust in God’s providence and will for my life have brought great joy. Two important verbs.

-Janet Copple Davis



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