Jeannine Brenner 800 words
428 Rabbit Hill Lane
Lancaster, PA 17603
A NEW LIFE BECOMES REAL
The words were like a clarion call – “Go, your faith has healed you.” Bartimaeus heard Jesus’ words and was struck by a dazzling flash of light as he stepped out of his cave of blackness. The darkness was erased and with clarity he saw sights that had been withheld from him all of his life. Brilliant colors bombarded his senses.
There were green trees bordering the side of the dirt brown road. Above was a blue sky with puffy white clouds, and something round and yellow, which must be the sun. He saw multicolored flowers dotting the grassy banks with splashes of red and pink and purple. There were people mulling about.
Where once he had only known they were there by the voices he recognized, now with those voices he could see faces, and the shapes of those who were speaking.
He looked down and saw he was standing in the middle of the dusty road, and ahead of him moved a man, a figure whose voice he could still hear, and he knew it was that same voice that moments before he had heard speaking to him – to him – the blind beggar who for year had sat by the side of the road, unwanted and ignored. This was the voice that had said, “Go, your faith has healed you.”
Immediately he started after the man. He was filled with joy – no more sitting uselessly by the roadside, dependent on others for small favors, measly gifts, and the crumbs thrown his way. He was now his own man. He could come and go as he pleased. What glorious freedom. The prayer he had prayed for a thousand years had been answered. He was deliriously happy.
Thus began his new life of sightedness. What opportunities awaited him! He could look for a job, find a place of his own, even take a wife. One week of reveling in this newness passed. Two weeks passed. The transition was hard. He had not expected it to be so difficult. Sitting by the side of the road longing for his sight, he had often thought that ‘if only’ he could see, life would be so easy. But as the third week ended, he was beginning to realize that it was not so easy.
He had no job skills. Houses that were not already occupied were scarce, and he had never talked much to women, so now they made him uncomfortable. Yes! He had his sight, but what else did he have to offer them. The old, familiar sadness of his pre-sighted days began to overtake him. He felt himself retreating, stepping backwards - actually longing to return to that comfortable cave of blackness. This new life was scary.
He was unprepared. Now he had to make decisions. It was risky beyond belief. Before, in his life of dependency, very little had been expected of him, but now he found himself being criticized for not ‘doing more’. Although there was light all about him, darkness was once again descending. Jesus, the one to who had called him, was nowhere to be seen. How was he to follow this miracle worker if he did not know where he was! He must find him.
In the silence that surrounded him he sat quietly waiting for some sign from the one to whom he had surrendered his life. He longed to hear him speak again, to show him the way through this new maze. Days passed. He had no idea what Jehovah God wanted of him, but each day he did the simple things that he knew he could and should do that day, and he asked the Lord God to show him what he should do next. And as he waited hope, like a spouting seed, began to take root. He re recalled the joy he first felt when the burning desire of his life had been fulfilled. He remembered the kindness of the one who had touched his life.
This man from Galilee had not brought healing to him only to have him crawl back into his cavern of darkness. If Jesus could restore his sight, then he would not leave him helpless and alone. He would certainly show him the way. True, it might take time to prepare himself for his new life and work, but in the meantime he would not give up his faith in the one who had become his Savior. He would listen in his heart for the master’s voice to lead and guide him, and he would serve him in any way he could. It was risky beyond belief.