Jesus Son of David have mercy on me! Just like the blind beggar Jesus, I have lost my way. I cannot see the way forward anymore. The people in charge try to shut me up, but Jesus I can’t see the future. I’m lost in this chaos of pandemic and social upheaval in my life and in this country. I can’t seem to see a way out of this. Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me! My teacher, please let me see again!

Have you ever felt like this? Like you’re trapped and you cannot see the future and the present is a blind mess? In this passage Bartimaeus the blind man receives physical healing from Jesus. But, our teacher, Jesus also wants us to have good spiritual vision.

In my previous parish in Philadelphia, our organist was and is a dear friend. Suzie was blind from birth. Her father was the rector of the same church, a few years prior to my coming. Suzie told me she was always troubled when blind people in the Bible received their sight. She said for her, Jesus gives her inner vision for the present and the future, and she like the rest of us prays for this sight. Suzie has an uncanny vision of where she is all the time. I would sometime pick her up on our way to a meeting in Philly. I remember one time driving with her in my car. She says: “Father Dave, where are you going? I think you are going the wrong way”. So, I tell her and she says to go up two blocks, turn left and then to another road and turn right. She knew exactly where we were, once I told her what street I was on. I would sometimes send her a new song by email or YouTube, and the following choir rehearsal she had it down perfectly to accompany the choir. Suzie helped understand what it means when Jesus says for judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind. (John 9:39)

In the midst of our daily routines, our schedules, when we get up in the morning, go to work or school or whatever is on the schedule for the day, and then we do the next thing and the next and the next. Sometimes, at special moments, we sense the need for the presence of God with us, the presence of the Holy Spirit, walking beside us, communicating with us, and to enjoy the deep healing Comforter. And we must stop sometimes and say, Jesus I need your direction and guidance.

This is the light of God and is a sacred time when God breaks into your life and gives you direction. And sometimes that direction will come at joyful times, but sometimes in times of sorrow, when you are grieving, at times that you do not know which way is up and which way is down, because your world is topsy-turvy. Those are times that are meaningful. God will walk with you, encourage, and remind you that God is the fountain of life and in that light we will see light. (Psalm 36:9)

On your journey Jesus will come near, and walk with you, and ask you: “What are you thinking? What’s going on in your life? How are you doing?” Then you may say, “I’m confused and I feel like I have lost my way. I’m angry about and depressed. I am sick and tired of this Covid 19 epidemic and all the anxiety that it has caused? I’m blinded with what’s happening in our world, our community and the pain and suffering reflected even in our churches.

Even in the midst of sometimes deep sorrow, sometimes severe loneliness, and times of pain and sadness, there is a deep peace promised to us. Jesus says to us: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27) It reminds me of a little song I wrote years ago when I was going through a time of sadness and loneliness, and I share this with you. I hope it encourages you on your journey with Christ…

Oh, how I love your presence Lord

I love to stand in your presence Lord,

I love to wait in your presence Lord,

I love the presence of the Lord.

When in meditation and communion sweet,

I lay my heart before my savior’s feet.

Then within the stillness of this blest retreat,

I hear the voice of Jesus in my heart.

Oh, how I love your presence Lord

I love to stand in your presence Lord,

I love to wait in your presence Lord

You are not alone! Go, your faith has made you well! Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.