Tonight I was reading about Bartimaeus, in the bible. We meet him as a blind man sitting on the side of the road begging in Jericho. He was desperate. Not only was he desperate but he had gathered enough information and heard enough about the true identity of Jesus that when Jesus walked by - unashamed Bartimaeus shouted out to Him when the opportunity arose, addressing Him as Son of David. In that day this was a clear confession that Jesus was the promised Messiah.
Many in the crowd tried to shush Bartimaeus. But instead the suffering man, no doubt swallowing his own pride, shouted all the more. Jesus stopped in His tracks and instructed the crowd to bring the blind man to Him. Jesus granted Bartimaeus healing in response to his faith.
Sadly, the crowd lacked Jesus' compassion. I think of all the "crowds" we encounter that lack the compassion of Jesus...especially those "crowds" that are doing things and proclaiming they are doing them in the name of Jesus.
I think about our "old" crowds - for some of us that have come along way on our journey...
I think about the "crowd" of old church groups that were (and still are) uncomfortable with honest, desperate people who cry out for help...like Bartimaeus did.
What I love about Bartimaeus is that he IGNORED THE CROWD, AND SOUGHT OUT THE CHRIST!
Hmmmm....what an example....sometimes I get pulled into what the "crowd" thinks...how they might respond, what they would think if they only knew xyz...but you know, the more the crowd tried to hush Bartimaeus, the louder his cries became.
I want to cry out - unashamed, without abandon....and I want to ignore the crowd, even when I make "them" uncomfortable. I want to be like Bartimaeus.