This week the assigned lectionary Gospel reading contains the story of the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus. It’s a story recorded in Mark’s Gospel written some 2000 years ago and yet it’s a story still being played out in our lives all the time today. Not that we are physically blind in need of healing. Most of us are not; but we are often blind in different ways that keep us from seeing what is all around us.
We don’t see what is before our very eyes for various reasons. We may be so much into ourselves that we fail to see the needs of people around us. We may be so caught up in the pursuit of things that we think will bring us happiness that we don’t see the true nature of happiness. We may be simply distracted by concentrating on some task we think is so very important that we don’t see what is in front of us. No matter what the reason may be, in all these kinds of blindness, we miss so much of life. We need to see that the lack of awareness and unresponsiveness to what is right in front us can not only do harm to ourselves, but also to other people we share this life with. One way or another we need to be healed or liberated from all these kinds of blindness if we are to really live our lives to the fullest.
Alabama native, Helen Keller, was so brave and inspiring to us in her deafness and blindness. She once wrote a magazine article entitled: “Three days to see.” In that article we find “a lesson on seeing from a blind woman”. She outlined what things she would like to see if she were granted just three days of sight. It was a powerful, thought provoking article. On the first day, she said she wanted to see friends. Day two she would spend seeing nature. The third day she would spend in her home in New York watching the busy city at work. She concluded it with these words: “I who am blind can give one hint to those who see: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you were stricken blind.” That quote is still a powerful lesson on seeing from a blind woman 82 years after it was published in Atlantic Magazine.
Join us in worship at Covenant this Sunday as we explore “Lessons on How to See From A Blind Man.” These lessons from the story of Bartimaeus, like the one taught by Helen Keller in that article, are still very relevant for us 2000 years after they were written. The scriptural text this week is Mark 10:46-52.