Today's reading is Mark 10:46-52. This is the story of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus. Jesus heals his blindness and Bartimaeus responds by following Jesus on the way. I've read and heard this story before so it's not a new one for me. But two new thoughts occurred to me. First, Bartimaues is named and identified, not just as a blind beggar, but as the son of Timaeus. In fact his lineage is noted before his condition. Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, is how the verse starts. That strikes me as significant. It's a specific person, not just one of many anonymous beggars. I'm not a biblical scholar, but it seems important that this story is about somebody recognizable. The 2nd thing I noticed is that Jesus did not go to Bartimaeus. In fact the passage says "Jesus stood still." Bartimaeus had to physically get up and find Jesus. Once he got to Jesus, Bartimaeus had to specifically request Jesus to restore his sight. I hadn't noticed that before --that the one in need had to go meet Jesus, Jesus didn't go find him (or her).
What does this mean for me? God knows me, wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, bookkeeper, friend, individual and recognizable. God knows where I am, physically, spiritually. God "stands still" or waits for me, ready to give me what I need. But before that can happen, I have to go and meet God. I have to ask for healing. That sounds simple, but it's not. What do I need healed?
Actually a third thought has occurred to me. The very last verse says that "Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way." I think I've always taken this verse as kind of the "lived happily ever after" kind of ending, but I just realized it's not. It's one of the key points here. I may be willing to go to God, ask for healing, but I also have to be ready to accept my healing and follow him on the way. And that's what makes this all so difficult.
Help me God to be willing to meet you. Help me ask you for healing. Help me be ready and willing to follow you. Amen.