Summary: The story of Blind Bartimaeus told from his perspective. Around every corner, by the sea, in the city – Jesus is busy touching people and changing their life. Jesus is alive today, as He was on the road from Jericho – His outstretched hand is ready to
I awoke every morning when I felt the warmth of the sun on my face, but I never saw a sunrise.
• I never saw light dance on the sea.
• I never saw my mother’s smile.
• I never saw my father’s dark eyes twinkle.
• I never saw the color red.
As a child, I could see; but my mother told me of a childhood illness, a high fever, and then the blindness.
• I don’t remember seeing.
• I don’t remember color.
All my days seemed the same, every day of my colorless life. I would fold up a colorless mat, eat colorless food, be led to the market to ask seeing people
to put colorless coins in my colorless cup. I did know that my mother was soft and round, and her face was smooth with little crinkles around her eyes. My curious fingers had felt her face – often. Sometimes she would stop what she was doing and let me look at her face with my little boy hands. And sometimes I would listen to familiar sounds that would tell me that she was making bread, or sweeping, or cleaning dishes.
Sometimes at night, before I went to bed, she would take me up on our flat roof where it was cool, and let me sit on her lap. I would sit breathlessly as she described what she saw in the night sky over Jericho. I knew that there were times that she would weep for me, her blind boy.
To me, stars and my mother’s eyes were alike. Not wanting to be a burden on my family, I did the only thing that there was for me to do – I begged in the market ... for years.
Being blind is not that different from being invisible. People tend to ignore you, to walk past you, or to stand within hearing distance and carry on a conversation as though you were not there. I learned a great many things, all these years sitting in the market in Jericho.
It was there that I first heard of a teacher from Nazareth. I heard Him called everything under the sun – from blasphemer, teacher, charlatan, to Messiah. All I knew was that whoever He was, He certainly got the people excited!
Then one day I heard them talking about the fact that He, the Nazarene teacher, was coming to Jericho. My curiosity grew and grew until it became an obsession.
I waited for days, straining my ears for evidence of His coming. I got to my post as early as I could each day. I didn’t want my father to lead me home in the afternoon because I was afraid I would miss Him. I had heard enough about Him to know that if He could do even part of the things that people were saying about Him – heal cripples, turn water into wine, feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, and, wonder of wonders, give the blind their sight – I had to meet Him.
No, see Him! I had to see!
I heard them coming. They were still a good distance away. But it was as if the old walls had caught their sound and had reverberated the news to me
that Jesus was on His way. As the crowd grew noisier, I knew that He was getting nearer and nearer. The excitement was building in me, until I felt that I would scream. I had to run to find Him. Me, a blind man, groping down winding alleys
trying to find a miracle. That would never work, so I began to call out to Him because I realized that in all that crowd of people following after Him, He might not see me. How would He know that I needed Him if I didn’t let Him know?
So I began to call His name – I called louder and louder.
"Jesus. Jesus. Over here. I’m over here.
Help me! Help me, please. Jesus!"
I must have gotten someone’s attention, because the people that had moved into my area next to the little niche in the wall where I begged told me to be quiet.
They said I was making too much noise. I was making too much noise? It sounded as though all of Jericho was screaming and calling out for something or other from Jesus.
I called louder,
"Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Someone pushed me down, then threw my cloak over me to shut me up. I felt a sob rise from the depths of my soul.
The crowd must have blocked Him from seeing me, and I missed my chance. He had passed me by. I could hear the crowd moving on – then they stopped and grew quiet. I heard a voice saying, "Call him here." Then I felt someone poke me.