Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CROWD (07/06/17)
TITLE: None So Blind
By Elaine Hemingway
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“I could have been crushed to death there,” the man panted as he pumped his rescuer’s hand in appreciation. “Where is everyone going in such a hurry?” He stumbled as he turned and Bartimaeus felt a stab of empathy as he looked into the man’s filmy grey eyes and realised he was blind. Camels used the road and their dung, while avoided by the seeing mob, had stained the unfortunate victim’s clothing.
“Come with me,” Bartimaeus replied, “and we will follow them to a man I have met before, a man who can help you.”
“Help me? You have helped me enough, I thank you. Now I need my stick that I lost when I was knocked over. Can you see it?”
“Indeed I can. It is broken and of no use to you. But you will no longer need it if you come with me.”
“Kind sir, wherever you take me, I will need a stick when you leave me. If you would but cut me another I must follow these people in the hopes they will take pity on me, a poor blind beggar.”
“What would you say if I told you I was blind but now I see?”
“Ha! And you expect me to believe you? What? Were you blind drunk?”
“I was blind from birth, and, like you, was sitting outside Jericho, begging, when along came a throng of people like this who told me Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. Have you heard of him?”
“No, I haven’t. But I have heard that nothing good comes out of Nazareth. It’s just a little village far from anywhere so how can anything good happen there?”
Bartimaeus shook his head in agitation. “I had heard his name and was told he had healed others. I called out to him, ‘Son of David, have mercy,’ and everyone with him told me to be quiet. I shouted louder and he came to me and asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted to see, and do you know what his reply was?”
“No, I don’t, but I want you to cut me another stick. I need a stick more than a story about someone from Nazareth.”
“Oh, man, listen to me, please! Jesus told me my faith had healed me, and suddenly things took shape around me. For the first time in my life I could see what people really looked like. I could see trees and flowers. Don’t you want that? Come with me and I will take you to him.”
“Why would I want to? I have done very well so far. I make a good living from begging. I know of nothing else and what would I do if I could see? With no trade how would I live? No thank-you. Anyway, Yahweh, who is great, made me blind. Please, just cut me a stick.”
The people moved on, a steady and excited crowd, in search of miracles by the man from Galilee. Bartimaeus waited in confusion, wanting his companion to at least listen with his ears. But he was groping his way amongst the trees and shrubs at the roadside, feeling for a branch strong enough and straight enough to make a walking stick.
Matthew 13:15. For the heart of the people has become dull; with their ears they scarcely hear and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and return, and I would heal them.
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