Even before they are followed by actions, words can often minister to us in incomparable ways:
- I love you.
- I agree with you on this matter.
- I'm on your side here.
- I apologize.
- You know, I really like you.
- Thank you for the work you do.
- I'm right here when you need me.
The list could go on. Words have power, and while they can certainly bring pain, they can also bring comfort and healing. I am of the Christian faith, and from that presupposition, I can only imagine how the blind man in Mark 10:51 felt when Jesus responded to his cries, saying, "What do you want me to do for you?"
The passage tells the story of Bartimaeus, forced into beggary because of his sightless condition. Sitting in the dust on the side of the road, his prospects were dim. When he heard that Jesus was coming, he knew this was his only hope, for this man could heal the blind.
Aiming toward the sound of the crowd, he shouted to Jesus, begging him to show mercy. Jesus asked him the one question whose answer was completely obvious, "What do you want me to do for you?"
Plainly and humbly, the son of Timaeus said, "Rabbi, I want to see." How simply we can state our need when we are in the presence of the Son of David.
Jesus told him then that his faith had healed him and he could see. Just like that, Bartimaeus could see.
Now, I am not ready to question that man's faith. Which one of us can? Who knows how many times he prayed to God and asked for sight before he was healed? What I do know is that when he encountered Jesus, who is the living Word, and he heard him offer to him the desire of his heart, his faith was emboldened.
The words Jesus spoke said so much more than the syllables expressed. They said, "I care," and "I want to help," and "I can help; just ask me."
Proverbs 25:11 aptly compares "fitly spoken" words with a beautifully framed painting of golden apples, the idea being that of a lovely piece that would grace any home. We, as followers and imitators of Jesus, have the wonderful honor of administering with grace words that can comfort, offer healing and bring beauty. May we seize the opportunity to carry out God's will here on earth as it is done in heaven and go around behavingand speakingas Jesus did.
What do you and I have to say today?