From Chapter 23, “The Cry,” in the book Pause With Jesus: Encountering His Story in Everyday Life.
Jesus had just finished lecturing the disciples about the dangers of pride. Then He walked into a crowd. People pushed for a chance to see that Man whose reputation preceded Him. They glanced, stared, listened, and walked in His direction. Suddenly a cry could be heard above the clamor.
The voice? A beggar.
The purpose? He hoped that popular leader would hear him.
His plea? A shout for mercy.
Pride didn’t cloak his insecurities. Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, had no one to impress. Pleading in desperation, he cried for a cure. He refused to clothe his nervousness with courtesy.
Maybe he told himself his day had come.
Maybe that would be his final chance to find change.
How often do our hurting hearts incorrectly assume that, since God knows everything anyway, time shouldn’t be wasted by praying and pleading? Sincerely not wishing to order God—as some seem to enjoy attempts of—the reluctance goes the opposite way. Refusing to treat Almighty God as a cosmic bellhop is a good thing. But failing to pray doesn’t fit my reading of these stories. It distances the needy from His hands.
In these narratives I hear an invitation, a welcome, a summons. I hear Christ saying, “Come to me. Ask me.”
Like Bartimaeus, we do not fully see.
We lack much. We are beggars.
Unlike Bartimaeus, we refuse to cry frantically for God to rescue us. Prayer permits us to admit our helplessness. It allows us to participate in the movement of God. Allowed to join God in seeing His work accomplished? Yes, I confess, the plot doesn’t seem to all fit together when we take the risky belief that an omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing) Creator often waits for our cry before taking action.
Crowds of beggars walked past Jesus. Many chose to remain where they were, as they were, refusing to howl for help. Bartimaeus cried until Jesus could hear him.
Where are we in that drama? Have we found our little spot—hurrying through life while carrying our hurt with us as we go? Or will we cry for a rescue, for a release, for a relationship with the True Lover?