Waiting for the Light

BartimaeusThis week I’ve been thinking about blissful ignorance — the kind of willful blindness we sometimes embrace in our humanness because seeing the truth is just too painful, or unexpected, or unsettling, or, well, icky.

Among believers, it can become a kind of spiritual schitzophrenia. The kind that sees with blazing clarity the splinter in the eye of those outside our immediate spiritual circle, but cannot bear to acknowledge our own shortcomings. Scriptures twisted and pulled like so much salt water taffy, or isolated into submission like a single stubborn branch on a topiary.

There comes a time, however, when we have to ask ourselves: What is TRUTH? And how can I be so sure that I have a handle on it? Have I reduced everything to what makes sense to me — or is there something more, something greater than what one tiny human mind can conceive? Am I being entertained . . . or transformed?

In today’s Gospel, a man who wanted nothing more than to see encounters ultimate Light, ultimate Truth. “Have pity on me, Lord. Son of David, have pity on me…”

Like blind Bartimaeus, this posture of humility and dependence is necessary. So long as we think we have all the answers, our ears are deafened to the truth; so long as we believe we view the world exactly as God sees it, we will be blinded to the present realities just beyond our field of vision. So long as we are busy telling God exactly how to run the world, we cannot be still enough to listen to his heart, or understand what he wantsof us.

Lord, help me to be more like that blind beggar in Mark’s gospel:

Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way. 

Image credit: More Things.com