"When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 'Jesus of Nazareth is passing by,' they told him. So he called out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.' " Luke 18:36-38
Part of our living in this fallen world is having regrets. I know I have many of them. For me, the greatest are those times when I have missed Jesus. Missed Him in the lives and needs of people and situations that He has brought before me. Missed Him in the words that people spoke, or the behaviors they were exhibiting. Missed Him because I didn't see Him, didn't notice Him, didn't sense Him. I didn't because I was too busy seeing, noticing, and sensing something or someone else. Too often just noticing myself. He passed by....right before my "eyes," and I never saw Him. Lost chances. Lost opportunities. Chances and opportunities that won't come again, at least not in the same manner or way. True, there is no condemnation in the missing, but there is sadness. I didn't see Him, and the loss was mine, and even His, that I didn't
There have always been ample "reasons" for my missing Him. I had a lot going on. I wasn't in any position to really do or minister in that instance. I was under a lot stress, even pain and heartache. I was totally drained, and I had nothing to give. What I have failed to recognize in all these situations is that if He had thought that any of them were valid reasons to miss Him, He would never have passed by to begin with.
The blind beggar by the side of the road in Luke 18 could have easily never noticed Jesus. He could have stayed focused on his own situation and need. He could have been irritated by the noise and the crowd. He could have been angry that the crowd didn't pay any attention to him. I believe that instead, blind though he was, his heart told him that Someone unlike anyone ever before was passing by, and he should let nothing, absolutely nothing, keep him from encountering that One. So he cried out for the one thing he felt sure he would receive...mercy. Mercy from the One who is mercy itself. And he received that mercy...and his sight...from that One, that Jesus, who was passing by. In Christ, Light stepped into his darkness.
It is a tragedy when we miss Him in the form of people and needs that pass before each day. Only eyes that are seeking to see Him in everything will recognize Him in the many forms He takes in this life. Oftentimes, He comes in the form of the ugly, the undesireable, the unwanted, even our enemies. Some have said that they learned to see the face of Jesus in the lives of those who most despised them. Jesus often passes by in the form that the flesh will have little or nothing to do with.
Yet even more tragic I think is how we miss Him as He passes by our lives in the small things and ways of each day. In our thoughts, our emotions, our fears, and our hopes....and our blessings. In all of them and more He passes by. Will we see Him? Will we, like the blind beggar, cry out to Him for the mercy we so desperately need? Will we miss the chance to be used in His healing touch, or receive it for ourselves? This day, in ways beyond counting, He will be passing by. Will we see Him....or will we remain blind...as He goes by again....unnoticed? Light steps into the darkness. Will we allow Him to step into ours?