Not what you expected.

Bartimaeus awoke at dawn, eyes wide open.

IMG_0955From the doorway where he slept, deep in the side streets of Jerusalem, the little patch of pink-tinged clouds in dusty blue sky shocked his brain. He’d never seen dawn.

He shut his eyes. He didn’t know where he was.

He’d been seeing for less than a day. His ears made sense of things. His eyes still confused him. Faces were different than voices, so much color, so much variety. And the speed. His legs didn’t understand moving with confidence. He had held his hands out yesterday while walking with the crowd to Jerusalem, and realized that no one else did. Cheering for Jesus made sense, yesterday. Then the crowd melted into Jerusalem and Bartimaeus was lost.

He shivered. He didn’t have a cloak anymore. In the rush from Jericho, he lost his. Left it when he followed Jesus.

Bartimaeus thought back.

He heard people talking about Jesus. They seemed to be gathering to wait for him. He heard them curse him as they as they stumbled over his feet. A crowd is a dangerous place for a blind beggar sitting by the road.

He could tell Jesus was close. He yelled, as loud as he could, from the bottom of the crowd. “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.” He kept yelling. Jesus called him.

“What do you want from me,” Jesus asked.

“Rabbi,” Bartimeus said. “I want to see.”

He saw.

Jesus told him to go, but Bartimaeus followed him. To Jerusalem. To this first dawn.

When you get what you want from Jesus, you lose your bearings. When you get what you want from Jesus, a healed relationship, a sense of calling, vision, things aren’t familiar.

Then Bartimaeus heard Jesus’ voice. He opened his eyes again. And followed.


From Mark 10

[First published March 2015]