Kind of strange to be remembered as “blind Bartimaeus”. But growing up in the church and hearing teachers refer to this man in this way has become second nature. Probably not so natural for Bartimaeus. But his story lives in infamy. Let’s look at the passage in Mark 10.
46 And they came to Jericho. And as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way. (ESV)
I was sitting with my spiritual counselor yesterday. Before we met I texted her to ask God to set the agenda. Typically, I’ll come to our 1-hour session with a topic of relevance in my spiritual journey but yesterday I sensed God nudging me to leave it up to her. So glad I did. She opened the Bible to this passage in Mark. God led her there and she wanted me to take some time and ponder the story. She asked me to mediate on it, while listening to her read, putting myself in the place of Bartimaeus. Feeling what he was feeling, sensing what he was sensing, and reacting as he may have reacted. Just swap places. And then answer Jesus question, personally. “What do you want me to do for you?”
Not an easy task since Bartimaeus’s life was made up of a whole lot of experiences and events that I can’t even imagine. But somehow, I got it. And God met me right there; paralleling events in my own life to help me wrestle with that question.
Most likely blind at birth, begging for every morsel of food he required to sustain life. But was it always like that? Did his parents ever take care of him or was he put out as one with defect? Headed down this path of questioning the Holy Spirit quickly re-routed me to recent events in my life. Let’s just say over the last 5 years. And wa-lah, there it was. I had the same answer as Bartimaeus. I wanna see. Going deeper. I wanna see what you see. I want your eyes of discernment. In any given situation, the wisdom to understand and to know the direction I should take personally or better yet in coming alongside others in that same way. A few years ago I began working with individuals as a Life Coach and owners of closely held companies as a Business Coach. There were times when I was called on to ask the right questions and give the proper advice. Those moments that stood out most were ones when the questions and answers just flowed. I just knew we were in the zone; the Holy Spirit zone. Do you know what I mean? You just know that you know. Well, I believe that’s available all the time. As I step into this next season of life, pursuing a completely different mission, I just wanna see. I wanna see what you see Lord.
But then, all of a sudden it occurred to me what I really want, as we closed our session yesterday. I want others to have what I have. A healed-up version of that guy who God created, and sin destroyed. What do I want you to do for me, Lord? Show me more of you in myself and more of you in others as a result. I want to see my future through your eyes.
Join me in Bartimaeus’s prayer.
“Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.