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Blind Bartimaeus

by Jacqueline Ives (Age: 79)
copyright 02-05-2016


Age Rating: 13 +

 

     So I was  sitting by the dusty road, as I had been sitting  every day for many years,  with my begging bowl, for I had lost my sight and could no longer earn my living. I used to be a shepherd.

     “How did you lose your sight?”

     Images changed.  What had been familiar objects took on grotesque shapes.  There was darkness and there were flashing lights.  Then one morning when I awoke, I  could see nothing at all.  We shepherds usually had the light of the camp fire on the hillside.  At first I thought that it was the middle of the night. But I could feel the warmth of the fire.  From the fading embers?  But I could see no light from the embers.  I looked up, but I could not see the stars – nor anything at all.  I cried out to my companions ...

 

 

      So,  now I was sitting, as I had been sitting every day for many years since then, by the dusty  road, outside Jericho.  It was just past the hottest  time  of the day, and people were stirring who had been resting  ...

       There were the usual sounds – clip-clop of hooves.  The braying of a donkey.  Human voices ... Now the voices grew louder, more numerous.  A crowd was approaching.

    “What is it?” I asked  a passer-by, clutching at what turned out to be his sleeve.   “What’s happening?”

     He shook me off:

       “Dirty beggar!”

      But the sweet voice of a woman replied to me:

        “Jesus is coming.  Jesus of Nazareth.  The Great Teacher – the Healer. Haven’t you heard of him?”

   Of course I’d  heard of Jesus.  Everyone had.  So I began to cry out:

    “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

    People shouted  back at me, telling me to be quiet, but I only shouted louder:

     “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

    Then I thought I sensed that Jesus had paused in the crowd, and I heard Him speak in His voice that was both strong  and gentle, seeming to subdue or penetrate the other noises of the crowd:

    “Call him here.”

     “Take heart;  get up,“ the woman told me, “He’s calling for you.”

      And I heard others saying the same:

     “ Take heart;  get up, He’s calling for you.”

      Strange – some were the same voices that had been rebuking me before!

      I threw off my concealing cloak, and sprang up, while helping hands and arms guided me to Jesus.

      “What do you want me to do for you?” He asked – that same compassionate voice, close to me now. What a strange question!

       “Not so strange.  You might have asked Him for food or money.”

       No, I could ask anyone for those!  Not that everyone would have given  them to me!

    * My Teacher!”  I dropped down on my knees before him.  “Let me see again!”

       “Go on your way,” He said, raising me up. “It is your own faith that has made you whole.”      

       And immediately I could see again – strangely at first - objects taking on incredible shapes – “men like trees walking” – but gradually coming into focus.

       I wept, and thanked Him, and followed him on His way.

      But there is more to it than this ...

      

    You sit, blinded, by the roadside, until the Voice calls for you (the Voice of which your soul has told you).

       Throwing aside the cloak that conceals your errors, sickness and misgivings, you approach.

        The Voice prompts you:

        “What is it you want me to do for you?”

         You must make the request in order to receive the healing:

         “My Teacher, let me see again!”

         “Go on your way,” He says, “for it is your own faith that has made you whole.”

        But you do not go your own way.  You follow in His way, for it is your spiritual sight that is  restored.

 

From the Bible story: Mark  10: 46-52







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        04-14-2016     Andrea Carter Salas        

From the first lines and continuing, I was getting the sense that it sounded like Bible times. The blind man in the story was beginning to sound very familiar. I have not read most of the Bible, I admit, but I am familiar with a number of scriptures. I refuse to call them "stories" because they are all much more than just stories. I believe that they were written to teach and to help us grow. My grandpa was a minister and would sit with any one of his grandchildren, and tell us about Jesus, or to preach the word of God. I really need to take the time to sit down and read the Bible. I felt very moved by what you wrote and wanted to thank you for helping me realize that I too am blind, for not keeping faith.



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