Do you know anyone who is satisfied with the way things are? There seems to be something inside each of us that wants to reach beyond our self and touch something “more.”

We are each plagued by a kind of holy discontent.

In our own way, we are each crying out for mercy. We are each, deep in our souls, longing for an experience with God.

Surely God will hear our cries and respond to our longings. Even now, as we read, reflect, and pray, may we hold out hope that God will sneak up on us in the form of forgiveness, acceptance, peace, joy, and love.

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Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.”

Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus on the way.

Mark 10:51-52

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When asked what he wants from Jesus, Bartimaeus says he wants to see. But the way he words his request makes you wonder if he’s actually asking for something else, something more than physical sight. After all, he doesn’t call Jesus healer — he addresses Jesus as teacher. And what do teachers possess? Teachers (if they’re good ones) possess knowledge, wisdom, and truth; they help us to understand and to see things as they are.

Bartimaeus was blind, obviously. But what others neglected to see was his guilt, his desire for mercy, and more importantly, his faith in Jesus. Unless we want to make the same mistake, we must learn to see the “more” that is going on in the world and in the lives of others.

When we forget how to look more closely and listen more deeply, we are as good as blind. But what if we were to say to Jesus, “Teacher, I want to see”? What if we learned to plead and to shout for forgiveness and mercy? Surely that is a good place for us to start, even now, today.

Chris Robertson

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God, I’m constantly being pulled in a thousand directions, and it’s really overwhelming. Taking the time to slow down and notice others is hard. But as a follower of Jesus, it’s what I’m called to do. So today, please give me the eyes to see and the will to act. Amen.

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Mercy is truly a grace-filled gift, one that is offered to all of us in and through Christ.

“The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”

from Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner (1973)

Chris Robertson

Rev. Chris Robertson loves everything about Jesus. Formerly a youth pastor, he’s now the manager of a veterinary practice in East Tennessee. In his spare time he enjoys reading, hiking, and wrestling in the floor with his two boys, Shane and Theo.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

Jim McConnell

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