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"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"

Willie John McBride, Irish Rugby player

What do you want?

When Jesus asks Bartimaeus the question, the conversation goes like this.

What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him. The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see. Mark 10:51

That is a natural request and Jesus granted it. As I read it I was reminded of an interview I did with Michael Sharkey last year. Michael is a visually impaired elite goalball player. He told me:

“When I was younger I did pray a lot that I would be healed of my visual impairment, that God would take this difficulty away from my life. I was about 13 and it was quite a big moment when I prayed that prayer. Obviously I did not have my sight healed. But if I had had, everything in my life would have been totally different and I don’t know what that would have done for me. There would have been no goalball; I would not have met my wife; I would not have had all the friends I have.

“I certainly do not blame God for afflicting me with a disability. It has been a blessing for the most part in my life. I feel that by praying that prayer when I was younger, it brought me to a place in my mind where I could deal with the fact that I was disabled and move on and make something of my life rather than wondering how on earth I was going to cope”.

I found that very powerful. It also shows us that sometimes our needs are different from what we think they are. Our greatest need perhaps is not to have our difficulty taken away but to know that God is with us in the difficulty.

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