The blind men stood on the side of the road and cried out; the dumb men waved their arms frantically, trying to get Jesus's attention (we can assume). The lame men...just had to wait and hope that Jesus would pass them by. Or that they had a couple of really good friends who could lower them through a roof somewhere.
It's hard to get healing when you're a lame man. It's hard to get to the places that could even offer you a glimpse of hope when you have no way to get anywhere at all. So far, we haven't excavated any ancient wheelchairs from this period, and if we're talking about a quadriplegic, there's no way he could have used crutches. Every time we see these men, they are lying on mats somewhere, hoping that mercy comes to them.
Like so many of us.
We are living our humdrum lives, stuck in our ruts, doing the same things day after day and...hoping that mercy comes to us. Hoping that God Himself walks by and gives us an opportunity to move.
That's what a lot of us are looking for - an opportunity to move. An opportunity to walk away, to go somewhere, to do something different, something that matters. We look around at our lives, and they feel so small, so inconsequential. It feels like the world is moving all around us, stepping over us with sometimes-not-so-delicate steps, passing right by.
What we want from Jesus is a chance for our lives to be different, a chance to get up and go somewhere and so something. We want to be called away from this place. We want to be told to pick up our mat and move, to go, to do, to live.
And...we wait. We wait faithfully here because it's the only thing we know to do, the only thing we think we can do. We spend our lives just praying that Jesus happens to come by us, that God happens to walk this way, and that when He does, He'll see us and call us to get up and get moving.
This is true inside the church, and it's true outside the church - everyone's just looking for purpose, for calling, for a chance to go and do something meaningful in this world. If God would come to the unbeliever and put an unbelievable calling on his life, he'd believe. In fact, for many, this is exactly the one evidence of God they are looking for.
It happens - for the believer and the unbeliever - in moments just like this, too. Moments when we are just going about our humdrum lives. Moments when we are just stuck in our ruts. Moments when we are just lying on our mats, doing the things that don't seem very glorious at all. Doing the faithful little things over and over and over again because that's all that we've got to do. It's all we can do right now.
Then, mercy happens by. God crosses our path. We call out, but He's already calling us. We can hear His voice; we can feel His touch. Get up, He says to us with all the authority of Heaven.