Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Luke 18: 31-43
Text: (Jesus asked) “What do you want me to do for you?”
Years ago I was on a mission trip to a Navajo reservation with a group of high schoolers. One of of my greatest lessons from that trip was how we presume that to know what is best for someone else according to our values.
We were painting and repairing cinder block houses constructed by the federal government but it appeared that no one lived in them. Off in the distance the family sat outside their native hogan. After a few days a Navajo project supervisor stopped by and checked on us. I asked him about the hogan and the family. He told us that the cinder block houses were “the white man’s houses”. They aren’t used much. Unlike the hogan, the houses are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
When Jesus passed the blind man who called, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”, rather than presuming to know what the man wanted–to receive his sight–Jesus asked him what he wanted. He showed the man the respect befitting a Child of God. Jesus didn’t presume that He knew what the man either needed or wanted. It could have been that we only wanted a few coins.
So often we don’t really want to help people as much as change people to fit our image of who they should be. We need to step back and give a little respect. Don’t always think that we know what is best or right. A little humility goes a long way. After All, we may be wrong from time to time.
Lord, give me a humble and teachable spirit. Let me see the other person and not be so arrogant as to think that I know best. Amen.