This Sunday I heard three inspirational messages on Mark 10. The story about a blind man whose faith and determination to be heard healed him and Jesus restored his sight. The first message was shared by Pastor Elizabeth at Nazareth. The nugget of truth that gleamed the brightest from her message was to listen to the needs of others really listen and believe that even though we may not understand why they are suffering they need our compassion. She impressed on me that we should not only follow the golden rule to do unto others as you would have them do unto you but Jesus’ platinum rule to treat others how they need to be treated. Try to put ourselves in their shoes and even if we those shoes don’t fit at all, believe them that they are indeed suffering or hurt and deserve our compassion and help.
The second message came from a young Pastor from Madagascar who spoke at the United Church of Christ. He spoke passionately about healing ourselves of blindness and how we should look inside ourselves to see how we may be emotionally blinded. We may be blinded by prejudice, we may see the world through political eyes, or not see ourselves as worthy of love. Bartimaeus believed that he could be healed, and he was. His faith opened his eyes to the world around him. He believed if he reached out for help, love of Jesus would heal him. He cried out in the street as people passed him by and shouted him down but his persistence to find healing cured him. He didn’t let his disability stop him from reaching out and finding the good in the world. And because Bartimaeus had received the love and attention of Jesus, others around him then also saw his worth and their eyes were opened to see him as a man not just a beggar on the street.
After Travis came home from teaching at the North Star Parish, he offered my third view of the story of Bartimaeus. His impressed on me how people on the outskirts of so-called normal society can be marginalized. “Bartimaeus” was not even the blind man’s name—it simply meant son of Timaeus. The Bible didn’t even name him. He was just a nobody on the side of the street begging for help. Even though, at that time, he was seen as insignificant, he believed he deserved love and knew that Jesus would heal him. In the days when people saw health and wealth as a sign of being in God’s favor, he knew the true meaning of love and compassion.
Sitting behind two different pianos most Sunday mornings gives me double the inspiration to draw upon for the coming week. As most of you already know, I am working in the school now and work with children who need extra attention. Even though they may struggle with certain tasks and may not be in the mainstream of the academia, they are not left to sink or crying out for help, they are loved in the school. I was extremely impressed with how the regular education students treat the students in their classes who have special needs. In the classroom where I help out, the students always have a smile and offer a helping hand whenever they can. During recess, some of the girls included one student in a rousing game of tag. They have great role models in their teachers thus far. And the special needs students are very blessed to have special teachers who have dedicated their lives to understanding how to best teach and support them. My eyes have been opened to how, even though we still have prejudice and cruelty in the world, it has become a kinder and more understanding place. We have to be open to see the kindness and compassion wherever it blooms and… keep on the sunny side.
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.