Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
There are many people like Bartimaeus around us – people who are either blind physically, or socially. We know that they don’t see fully what we can see and it makes us appreciate what we have but also it makes us uncomfortable around them. Sometimes we look at them and we don’t know what to do, how to help a person to see again. When people like Bartimaeus cry out to Jesus we sometimes feel embarrassed for them. Such desperation! Why don’t people take care of their business without trying to ask others to fix their problems? It reminds me of how little kids embarrass us parents by throwing a tantrum in public places. Especially if we take our children to work, we don’t want them to interrupt our boss or someone next to us who is very important. Embarrassed, we attempt to quickly quiet our children. Similarly, the crowd tries to hush Bartimaeus who is like a child is not that important comparing to Jesus. Doesn’t he know that he shouldn’t interrupt? Too often we hide our seemingly ordinary lives, including our family, behind a façade to impress others. The question is if we are not genuine, how can we address the problem? Does transformation happen if we do not admit we have a problem? Besides, Jesus does not need to be impressed. He sees us as we are.
If we seek transformation, we need to be open about who we are, we need to admit our sins, and we have to name the issue. Naming has an amazing power. Healing begins with naming. Bartimaeus knows he is blind and he also believes in the power of healing. If we want to heal we don’t need to worry about being embarrassed. That is humility, and it in that full humility, God has the freedom to act and to heal what is broken.