"I want to see you, Jesus!"

Bartimaeus

Yes – I know Bartimaeus!  Course I do! 
He’s one of the best Christians around!
And do you know – he used to be blind!
He did really.  Blind from birth.
He told me once the story of how he came to see.

“I used to sit by the roadside, the one that leads from Jericho,
and hope that someone gave me a coin or two.
Since my parents died, that’s the only way I could survive.”

“How did you give yourself a reason for living, Bartimaeus?”

“Ah well, it wasn’t easy.
I did sometimes try to think of ways of ending it all.
But deep down, I felt that I had a reason to live,
that God had something for me to do.
I just had a sense that God wanted me to see
and that then he had a real purpose for my life.”

“So, does God want all blind people to be healed, Bartimaeus?”

“For some people I think God uses their blindness and it is part of who they are and how they serve God.
But for others, like me, I think it gets in the way.”

“So, how did you think God would heal you, Bartimaeus?”

“Well, the group of us that used to sit and beg together,
we got to hear of a teacher called Jesus.
Some said that they thought he might be the Messiah.
And one reason they thought it was that he was healing people.
Lame people could walk, deaf people called hear and blind people could see.

“But how could you get to meet him, Bartimaeus?”

(laughs) “I wasn’t going anywhere lass (or lad).”
I was going to have to wait until Jesus came to me.”

“But supposing he didn’t come?”

“God and I had had a conversation about that.
I knew that if God wanted me to meet Jesus, then Jesus would come along. 
And if he didn’t come along,
well, then, it was not part of God’s plan and that would be ok.”

“That was very trusting of you, Bartimaeus?”

“Well, it didn’t seem like it at the time.
But I just waited to see what happened.”

“What did happen, Bartimaeus?”

“One day, there was a commotion further along the road.
I asked old Joseph who sat near me – he was lame but he could see –
I asked, ‘What’s going on?’
And he said, ‘Reckon its that Jesus fella. ‘im that heals folks.’
‘Is he coming this way?’
‘Reckon he’ll be here pretty soon.’

“What were you feeling Bartimaeus?”

“I was feeling pretty scared.
Well, and excited.  Both at the same time.”

“What did you do?”

“I shouted out.
‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
People in the crowd didn’t like that.
They told me to be quiet.
‘Shut up blind man! Jesus won’t want to see you!

“What did you do then, Bartimaeus?”

“Why, I carried on shouting.
‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
Then suddenly, everything went quiet.
Jesus was speaking and I heard him say clearly,
‘Tell the man to come to me.’

“So you did go to him after all?!”

(laughs) “ I suppose I did, lass.
I didn’t need telling twice.
I left my cloak behind I was in such a hurry to get to Jesus.
One or two people guided me and suddenly, there I was!
Jesus asked me a question:
‘What do you want me to do for you?’
I knew the answer to that!
‘I want to see’. 
‘I want my sight!’
‘I want to see you, Jesus!’

“And then what happened, Bartimaeus?”

Well – it was like a mist clearing...
a whole world opened up before me...
Trees, flowers, houses, donkeys, people...

“So did you go round exploring everything?
Did you go to find your home and your friends to see what they looked like?”

Why, no...   I followed Jesus on the road.
And I’m still following him! 

© Jacqui A. Horton 2010