As I started my study on “being quiet” yesterday, I found it hugely entertaining that the first Scripture verse that I looked up was Mark 10:48, which says:
Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The ‘he’ here refers to blind Bartimaus, who sat on the road near Jericho trying to earn his living by begging. This is the story of someone whose life had been full of disappointment. How do I know? Well let’s just be realistic. We’re not told whether or not he was born blind or lost his sight later in life. I’m not sure it matters, actually. Either way, he’d have to know that he wasn’t like most of the people around him. Imagine being unable to see those you love, the colors of nature, the chair in your way or knowing if someone was nearby to cause you harm. Imagine having to ask for every penny and knowing that whatever you have to live on was the result of whether or not others were feeling charitable that day. I’d say that disappointment would be a mild term for what I might feel in his situation.
Then there’s ‘the label’: blind Bartimaus. Perhaps its just a descriptor, but I’m curious to see how we would react to having our physical or mental struggles/differences attached to our names in such a way.
What I love about this story:
- It is about someone who is doing what he can where he is. Some of us get so bogged down in our struggles that we choose to host our own extended pity parties instead of finding ways to manage through them.
- He used his other senses as compensators: his ears to hear the crowd and find out who was coming his way, his mouth to cry out for help.
- He refused to be silenced–if there was even the slightest chance that he would be heard, he was determined that this would be the day that would happen. No “poor me”/martyr syndrome for this man!
- He understood WHO could help him and he called out to get His attention!
- He didn’t listen to all those around him who didn’t believe it could happen.
- He was succint in his request. He didn’t labor over the point or take the time to tell Jesus how hard it had been on him. He simply made his request and then stopped.
This is a faith lesson. This is about knowing when you’ve been quiet long enough and knowing when to call out for help. This is about knowing Who can always help you. This is about being quiet…until it’s time not to be quiet. This is a lesson we all need.
No matter what you’re facing today, God will listen. No matter what you need, you can ask Him. No matter what you want, you can count on Him to give you what you really need to get through it. So if you’ve done all you can do and it’s not enough, go ahead and yell! I promise you, God’s just waiting to hear from you.