Spiritual Formation for YouSpiritual Life DevelopmentUncategorized

What Do You Want Me To Do For You?

Visually impaired old person learning to reading by touch.The movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993) is a thought-provoking character study of a dysfunctional family. After his father’s death, Gilbert (Johnny Depp) has to care for his special needs brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his morbidly obese mother. His abnormal, status quo existence is suddenly challenged when love walks into his life. His love interest, Becky, (Juliette Lewis) is a free-spirited soul who challenges Gilbert’s perspective on carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

There is a pivotal scene in the movie when Gilbert and his Becky are enjoying a peaceful day in the sun when Becky asks Gilbert a probing question. “Gilbert, what do you want?” He begins to share a litany of wishes for a new brain for his brother, Arnie, and even for his obese mother to take aerobics classes. Becky abruptly stops him and reiterates the question strategically adding emphasis, “No Gilbert, what do you want for you…just for you?” After much humming and hawing Gilbert declares, “I can’t do that…..it’s too hard.”

There are a number of times during Jesus’ earthly ministry when he poses a very similar question to those who come to Him with their needs. “What do you want me to do for you?” is his question for blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). The clincher to the account is that Bartimaeus is blind and this handicap has led to a life of begging on the roadside. Why would Jesus ask this question with such an obvious answer? How can a question like this come from the Son of God who knows all things, why did He have to ask it? Because Bartimaeus needed to articulate it!

What would happen if Jesus was standing in front of you right now and posed the same question? “What do you want me to do for you?”

How would you respond? Possibly, “Isn’t there something better I could be doing with my time?” or how about “This is a selfish thing to do; I need to put others’ wants before my own.” There is also, “What happens if I allow my desire to come to the surface and it goes unmet?”

What would happen if Jesus was standing in front of you right now and posed the same question? “What do you want me to do for you?”

Jesus yearns to hear you articulate your deepest desire. With that in mind, there is no need to be afraid of long-concealed emotions making an appearance. In fact, it is vitally important that you let yourself feel how deep your desire goes. This process may take time for your desire may be securely embedded behind a mask of your public persona. However long it takes, sit in God’s presence and allow the desire to come to the top because the safest place to reveal your true desire is in Christ’s presence.

When you feel you have given your desire the appropriate time to surface, listen to your heart because Christ is listening also. Here are some questions to help bring you closer to God as your desire is revealed:

  • Can I be compassionate with myself as I go through this process?
  • Am I ready for what I am asking?
  • Is this desire strong enough that I am willing to do whatever it takes for it to happen in my life?
  • What aspect of my desire can only God accomplish and what is mine to accomplish?

Stay with the questions that you feel most to or seem to touch your deepest response; whether it is one of resonance or resistance. Imagine that in response to the questions you pose Jesus sits with you face to face and allows you all the time needed for full realization. He has all the time in the world and there is no desire so deep that His love is not deeper still to meet it.


“What do you want me to do for you?”

Will you name your desire in Christ’s presence? Can you?

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