Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. Mark 10:50
I've often been with our youth group when they've gone to bring food to homeless people in the city of Toronto, near where we live. Before we go, we are reminded to respect the property of the people we are serving. They may not have much, and what they do have might not look like much--but we are told, "Don't walk on anyone's cardboard mat or step on their blanket." When a blanket is all you have, it's important to you.
In our reading for today, we meet Bartimaeus, a blind man who begged on the streets. His cloak was probably very important to him. But when he cried out to Jesus for mercy and Jesus called him to come over, Bartimaeus threw his cloak aside, jumped to his feet, and hurried over to ask Jesus for the gift of sight.
Bartimaeus didn't have much, but he was willing to drop it all in order to throw himself into the arms of Jesus. Jesus gave a name to this radical action: faith. And he said to Bartimaeus, "Your faith has healed you."
In order to open our hands to Jesus, there may be "blankets" that we need to let go of. It might be our dependence on financial security or a valued possession or a relationship. Are we so desperate for Jesus that we are willing to cast aside our treasured things to take hold of his mercy?
Lord, you know the "blankets" we are clinging to. Help us to release our grip on the things of this world in order to take hold of you with our whole being. In your name, Amen.
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