The account of the blind man Bartimaeus (named for us in Mark 10:46-52) crying out to Jesus is one of my favorite Gospels for many reasons. I am always struck by a new part of it each time I sit with it for a while.
What strikes me most as I pray with it this time is the people shushing him, rebuking him, telling him to be silent. He is crying out desperately for help, and the people around him completely shut him down.
This very same thing can happen to us. Perhaps it has happened to you.
You realize within yourself or express a need for help to someone, anyone . . . you share that you are struggling, that you need counseling, help, or healing in some other way . . . and you are shushed. You are told to be quiet. Sometimes it comes from the outside but sometimes those voice come from within.
"That’s for weak people," we hear, from ourselves or others. "You shouldn’t need help. There are people with far bigger problems than yours. Seeking help or healing is for needy people, and you aren't needy."
Perhaps you heard it yesterday, or perhaps it was when you were six. It is painful to think about the times we may have been told these things and the ways we can be shut down when we are struggling deeply.
But Bartimaeus illustrates the necessary response when we are shushed in our time of need: he moves past those shushing and reaches out anyway. He ignores those voices to get the help and healing he needs. It is surely easier said than done, but he shows us how. He approaches Jesus with boldness, allowing nothing to stop him, even when it proves difficult and the path is full of obstacles.
When we come to the realization that we have a need like Bartimaeus, we are invited to look to this blind man and mirror his actions—pressing through and onward to reach help, healing, and the Healer Himself.
Lord, help me to recognize and admit my needs, knowing that they don't define me but rather provide an opportunity to draw closer to You. Guide me toward You today and always.
Emily Wilson Hussem planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves every second of it. She is the author of I Choose the Sky and Go Bravely. You can find out more about her here.