Friday, August 12, 2011
Caught on Tape
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. 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!” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 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.” 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. Mark 10:46-52
When our oldest daughter was three or four, my father gave her a series of tapes with bible stories for children on them. The quality wasn't very good and the voice actors were frightening, and Emily loved them. She had learned the technology, had a little cassette player my Dad had provided, and listened to these tapes for hours at a time especially in the car. The story of Blind Bartimaeus was heard over and over with the closing jingle, "Isn't the love of Jesus something wonderful?", sung over and over again. She didn't have earphones then, in the early 1980's, so we had to listen along with her, in our little tiny car. The child was insistent on hearing the tapes over and over again. And we three together learned the stories, word for word.
Jesus was in motion, as is often the case, when he encountered Bartimaeus. The blind man was insistent and he was unwilling to be silenced, unwilling to let go. He raised his voice and repeated his petition, over and over. Like a child's faith, he was insistent on what he wanted and needed. Jesus stopped and touched him. And the once blind beggar became a follower, a disciple on that day. Isn't it remarkable, how God can choose the most annoying and troublesome to be followers? And how, no matter how we receive our faith it can mature and ripen into a full blown walk with God?
Today I thank God for all the people in my life who have shared their faith with me, no matter how simply or how complicated they were. I ask God to help me share my faith by actions as well as words this day.