Thursday’s Column: Dale Mail
Hugh Glass decided to live the difficult and adventurous life of a fur trapper and pioneer. He embarked on an expedition to North Dakota in early August, 1823. The vast wilderness of the Badlands set the stage for the events that transformed him from a man to a legend. North Dakota, also known as the “Rough Rider State,” would not reach it’s statehood for another sixty five years. In these wild days thousands of buffalo still roamed the endless plains and were hunted by the Native American tribes, of which were the Mandan tribe. Hugh Glass and his men would encounter the Mandan early on in their expedition and a skirmish would ensue. Hugh would emerge alive, but not unscathed. Before his wound had time to heal, the largest predator on earth, the Grizzley Bear— nearly takes his life. The nature of his gruesome injuries were such that two men were ordered to remain with Glass until he met a seemingly inevitable end. Due to either their impatience or threatening weather, the two men hurriedly dig a shallow grave, lower Hugh inside— and leave. But Hugh wasn’t dead. He claws out of his grave and over the next two months he would make a grueling three hundred mile trek to Fort Kiowa near modern day Chamberlain. His will to live was matched by his determination to wreak revenge on the two who had prematurely laid him to rest. For the time being, however, Hugh found himself on his hands and knees making agonizingly slow progress but— he inches forward.
In the months to follow Hugh Glass would make a full recovery and in that time, he also forgives the wrongs that were done to him. He had buried his grudge and unlike him— it would remain buried (source).
While the long journey of Hugh Glass took a great deal of grit and resolve, the journey Jesus made from Jericho to Jerusalem is far more inspiring.
When we get to Matthew 20 the cross is already on our Savior’s mind. The following chapters will focus on the teachings of Jesus and the moments leading up to the His ultimate sacrifice. We won’t read about miraculous healings after this point, but the final healing that Jesus makes on that walk from Jericho to Jerusalem, is a special one.
Ahead of Jesus and one excited crowd, are two men intently listening on the side of the road. They’re blind. They survive off of the charity that’s shown to them by a minority. As Jesus draws ever closer they begin to yell in desperation for His attention. There are some in the crowd, perhaps those closest to them on their side of the road, who scold them.
Can’t these sad beggars see that Jesus has more pressing matters on His mind?
The rebukes don’t quiet the men from calling out; in fact, they raise their voices above the crowd. Christ wasn’t lost in any thoughts about a military takeover, but we can assume that Calvary was on His mind. Now Calvary— that was a pressing matter.
Nobody would blame Him for ignoring two blind men. After all, the crowd didn’t need to witness some miracle to solidify their belief in His power (John 6.30), and beggars on the side of the road were a common sight.
Even so, Jesus stops.
He calls out to them and then asks, “What would you like me to do for you?”
The blind men respond with, “Lord, we want our sight.”
These men should have been paying attention when the Rabbi’s read from the scrolls of Daniel or Isaiah. The Jewish people had hundreds of years to piece together the true nature of the Messiah’s mission.
Yet, the response of Jesus is compassion and it’s followed by His touch.
That masterful plan was set in place the foundations of the earth were waiting to be laid. A plan that involved Jesus trading heaven for earth in order to answer the call of two blind men. He created time for them and He proved it by making time for them a second time— so that they could see it.
He would make a special stop for you, too.