I have some challenges. Shocking, I know. One of the challenges I face is that I want to understand where I stand and why I stand there. While that may seem like a common desire, for me it is a challenge because of the effect it has on me. When something is not clear to me, a reason has not been explained, I don’t understand the purpose or the trajectory, or I am confused about a change, I tend to spin out mentally. I circle it around in my head and let it ruminate in my brain. Again, I like to know where I stand and why I stand there. And when I don’t, I could drive myself nuts.
Often, in my desire to understand and be understood, I ask questions that are not socially correct or within the confines of Emily Post. I can ask obvious questions, invasive questions, questions that seem to be none of my business or questions that seem just silly. What the receiver often does not understand, is that the questions are more about me than them. Most often the questions are to help my mind stop spinning, to find out what I need to know in order to understand where I stand and why I stand there. It is also to help me stop considering all the things the other person might or might not be thinking. That might sound selfish, but I desire to stand in understanding.
Sometimes things that seem obvious are not. Sometimes we put stuff out there and assume and hope that the world understands it. We all know the saying about what happens when we assume. But for me, to assume that someone understands or to assume I understand, is debilitating to me. I have to know the common ground, the boundaries, the purpose, the why. And often, what may seem obvious, is not so obvious to me.
Because of this, I appreciate how frank and straight forward Jesus was when he encountered people. In Mark 10, there is a blind man who would sit daily by the side of the road and beg and when he heard Jesus was near he called out to him. We pick up the story in Mark 10:48-51, ‘Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”’
I love both the blind man and Jesus in this passage. The blind man calls out to Jesus. He can’t see to get up so he sits there and yells, annoying everyone around him, no doubt. And I feel for him, because often, I feel like an annoyance in my attempt to understand. When he finally does get up and go to Jesus, Jesus asks a question that would also seem obvious. A blind man has just walked up to him and he asks him what he wants. Seriously? Jesus is known, at this point in his ministry, as a healer and the man must want his sight restored. But I love that Jesus wants to be clear. He wants to know what the man wants. While it may seem obvious to the man or to those around, Jesus sought to understand what might appear to be obvious.
I am in a season and time of life where I just wish everyone knew my whole story. I think it would make every situation so much easier. Jesus knew the blind man’s whole story, he was God, but he still asked. I wonder what the blind man thought of the ask. Did he think that the question was silly and wonder why Jesus asked him, or did he feel comforted and cared for because Jesus wanted to know where he stood? I want to just ask and to be asked.
To fully understand where you stand and why you stand there is a comfort, but one that is not common in today’s world. I love that Jesus looked deep and asked to understand. What a divine example.
By His Grace
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