Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What do you want me to do for you?

Great question.  Stunning when it comes from Jesus.

In Mark 10:35-52, we find two encounters in which Jesus asks this question.  Somebody stops him on his way, and he turns to them.  I imagine he asks it very quietly and kindly.

What do you want me to do for you?

James and John reply, "We want to sit at your right hand."

Bartimaeus, the blind man, replies, "I want to see."

I spent the greater part of my life wanting, like James and John, to be a trophy on Jesus' shelf, the Teacher's pet, a merit badge on God's chest.  I wanted Him to point to me and say, "See her?  I like her best." 

I thought I could get there by being very, very good and very, very busy.  But all I really did was prove that I was as blind as Bartimaeus.  I had missed the point:  grace.  His grace, not my goodness.  Glory.  His glory, not mine.

What do you want me to do for you?

I've been pondering this question since I studied this passage in my daily Bible study more than a year ago.  I wrote down the question, and for more than a year I have left the page blank.  Because all this is in my heart:

I want stuff.
I want to be pretty.
I want to be thin.
I want to be happy.
I want to be liked.
I want success.
I want sleep.
I want to be left alone.
I want to hide.
I want joy.
I want love.
I want your kingdom.
I want my kingdom.

What do you want me to do for you?

I think I now know what I want:  I want to see.  I want to see what God is doing all around me.  I want to see where He is waiting, saying, "Get over here."  I want to see where He is pointing and saying, "No more of that."  I want to see what matters to Him and what doesn't, what He loves so I can love it too. I want to see what is true and what is crap.  I want to see what's in my heart, even if it's not pretty.  I don't want to miss a thing.

But more than anything, I want to see Him.  I want to know His love for me and fall into it.  I want to see His goodness and swim in it.  I want to know His heart, which is what I guess the psalmist meant when he said, "My heart says seek Your face."

At least that's what I want today.

What do you want me to do for you?

How would you answer that question?


  1. Oh, LOVE it, Karla. I want to see too. Everything. Don't want to miss the greatness of His love and grace - ever. Don't want to be so large in my own estimation or need that I miss what's important. Him.

  2. Well, Joy, you are the one who taught me to want that! I was so focused on knowing about Jesus, and you just were in love with Him. I love that about you!

  3. And still there's more. So much more! (Have you read Wayne Jacobsen's "He loves me?" Really beautiful...)