When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
Mark 10:47 and 51
My friend Esther sorts and packs recycled eyeglasses once a week. She volunteers for the Lions Club, a service organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the blind and visually impaired. Distributing some twenty million pairs of glasses annually to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to them is only one part of the club’s global vision initiative.
Lion’s Club members know developing nations are disproportionately affected by eye problems for a variety of reasons including environmental ones. Tibet has one of the highest rates of cataracts because of soot and pathogens from the dusty environment and overexposure to UV rays.
Trachoma another eye disease rampant in developing countries could be eliminated by addressing environmental concerns like the inaccessibility of clean water and lack of proper sanitation facilities. The World Health Organization believes that with support and intervention 80% of the world’s vision problems would be avoidable.
The Bible passages I quoted at the beginning of this post are from a story about a blind man named Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus knows Jesus is nearby and calls out to him for help. Bartimaeus makes me think about the people around the world calling out for help with their vision difficulties. Jesus restored sight to Bartimaeus. Our world has the resources to prevent blindness and improve the quality of life for almost all of the visually challenged in the human family.
There are more than a hundred charitable organizations focused on hearing and answering the voices of those who are saying just as Bartimaeus did, “I want to see again”. How can we help?