What Do You Want Me to Do for You?
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!”
Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said , “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Mark 10:46-52 NIV
This passage of Scripture denotes elements that correlate with devastating times in our lives. Times when we desperately need Jesus.
Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, did not possess the appropriate social status to be noticed or acknowledged especially in a large crowd, but he had a pressing need that he knew Jesus could meet. His need created a boldness within that was expressed by shouting “have mercy on me.”
When our circumstances become greater than our ability to fix it, we cry out to Jesus hoping that He will supply. As our need increases, our desperation is more boldly expressed.
The crowd’s reaction though to Bartimaeus’s cries was one of rebuke. It was as if they were saying, “You are not worth being heard. Shhhhhh!!!!” But that did not stop Bartimaeus. He shouted louder trying to get Jesus’ attention.
This kind rebuke often happens to those who turn to the Christian community looking for compassion as they tell the secret of domestic violence that is destroying them and their families. They are told to be quiet and to live in peace, but Jesus is calling them to him for He hears their voice just like He did for Bartimaeus. Jesus values each one of us in spite of our circumstances.
When Jesus acknowledged Bartimaeus’ cry for mercy, the crowd changed their tone and actually told Bartimaeus to cheer up and go to Jesus.
Isn’t that just like us in the Christian community? We don’t apologize for our previous actions or lack of compassion. We change our response to be more “godly” and deny our judgmental attitude. It is interesting that the crowd’s hypocritical response did not deter Bartimaeus from expressing his need. Are we willing to do the same?
When Bartimaeus faced Jesus, Jesus asked what he wanted him to do for him. Bartimaeus’ desire was to see. Because of his faith, he was healed.
When we approach Jesus, do we know what we want Him to do for us? Do we believe He will do it? Or do we timidly fade into the crowd because of fear and shame wanting not to be noticed and resigning ourselves to living out the rest of life in our difficult circumstances?
Circumstances can change, but we need to “speak up boldly’ and not be silenced! Jesus is waiting for us to come!
By Paula Silva
© 2010 FOCUS Newsletter, FOCUS Ministries, Inc., www.focusministries1.org
Thank you for this timely post. I really needed the encouragement and reminder. It has been just over a year since my abuser abandoned me during a reconciliation attempt–after withholding rent for 4 months when I was too ill to work ensuring that I would be homeless and broke when he left. During this time, I have learned some painful lessons about being careful who I share my story with. I have had someone immediately pray for me to forgive the departed “brother” and to let God restore the relationship…I think the word ”gossip” was used in that prayer(so, speaking up about the abuse was gossiping?). I was told by another that I am not moving on (because I still have periods of panic attacks, depression and other symptoms of PTSD) or doing the best for my kids (all are grown except my 17 year old). The underlying message has been to just get over it and move on already…while the effects of 20+ years in an abusive marriage tend to linger and countless triggers render me immobile at inopportune times.
For example, on my current contract job I am expected to help field the periodic customer billing-related calls that we receive. I didn’t know this until after I started there a year ago. Early on, I experienced extreme anxiety when taking calls and I didn’t know why–it’s like my thoughts would scatter and I would stumble through the calls. I would then have awful panic attacks on the commute home but didn’t know at the time that it was connected. You see, there was a time before the first separation when my husband wouldn’t allow me to use our only phone; he fielded my calls and only let me talk to someone he approved, with him listening in near me to jump in at any time. The office where I work is small and you can overhear everyone’s calls–sometimes colleagues will jump in to help out/correct one another in the middle of a call. Not a bad thing for them, since they have worked together for years and years, are a tightly-knit group and find it helpful to do so. For me, it takes me back to that awful time. I still avoid calls as much as possible to avoid triggering the panic attacks but I work my tail off with my other duties. By the grace of God, although this avoidance of phone calls has become noticeable, I still have a job.
God had urged me to speak up about to my potential manager during the interview process last year when she inquired about the personal reasons related to resigning from my previous job (abuse–>failing health = unable to work for 1 year. She congratulated me on getting out and within days, I was offered the contract. It was embarrassing to speak up after being blasted for doing so previously, especially during a job interview. But in the end, I believe God used it to plant a seed of compassion in her heart.
It is difficult to speak up when one’s voice has been taken away because of abuse. God did use your courage in a positive way to change a heart. Triggers can occur at any time. It is at moments like that that we can rest assured that God is there with us calming our heart. Overtime triggers will be less intense as we learn how to respond to them. God saw your need to have a job and he provided one in which he will build confidence.
I need help. Im scared to death. Im afraid nobody’s goimg to love me or treat me any better.
I can understand why you could be afraid. First of all God loves you immensely and does not want you to be mistreated. Staying in a relationship that is causing you harm is not love. It is enabling the sin of the abuser to continue. God created you uniquely with great value. It sounds like you may feel that you are unlovable or have not value. If that is so, where did that message come from?