Friday, October 4, 2013

Twenty Seconds

A blind beggar named Bartimaeus was sitting beside the road. He heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, and he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" "Be quiet!" many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder...When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, "Tell him to come here." Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus. "What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus Asked. The blind man said, " I want to see!" And Jesus said to him, "Go, for your faith has healed you." Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road. ~ Mark 10:46-52

Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of courage. ~ A line from the movie, We Bought A Zoo

Blind Bartmaeus had never seen Jesus, he had only heard about him. But in his mind he could see him. And what he saw was someone walking his way who was merciful, powerful, and the descendant of Israel's greatest King, David. An impoverished and impotent beggar, and a king in waiting. How could their lots in life be any different? It didn't matter. Something rose up in Bartimaeus, and he cried out to the image he held in his mind.

"Bartimaeus! Shut up!" angry voices screamed at him. Disheveled but not dissuaded, the beggar craned his head upward, his empty eye sockets spasmed, and the veins in his neck bulged and pulsed as he desperately bellowed all the louder. Cupping his dirty, rough, brown hands around his mouth he let loose another pitiful and primal scream. He knew that in about twenty seconds his cries would fall short; the feet of the Miracle Worker would have carried him beyond the sound of his pleas. Bartimaeus found the courage to believe in the image in his heart for about twenty seconds, and called out for mercy.

Jesus is always nearby; his Spirit does not come and go as Jesus did during the days he physically walked this earth. He is an ever-present help in our time of need. In our moments of desperation, often all we need is twenty seconds of courage. But like Bartimaeus we have never seen Jesus, so we must ask ourselves, "What image of Jesus do I hold in my heart and mind?" Merciful? Powerful? King of Kings? Think about how important that is, because it is in those first moments-when things begin to unravel--that the courage of faith or the discouragement of hopelessness wins the day. Only faith can heal us, and those first twenty seconds are where we find out who we believe Jesus really is. In our crises of belief, and in nearly every situation--we make up our mind how we will respond in about twenty seconds.

Remember this, too. Voices will try to shout-down and shut-down our belief that Jesus cares one whit or will do one thing about our lot in life. A din of angry babble will converge, intent on convincing us to sit on the curb--our spirits impoverished. To remain blind--to the world of possibilities Jesus has for us.

If we listen to those voices our Hope will about twenty seconds.


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