A man is standing at the pedestrian crossing about to cross the street. As soon as he steps off the footpath, a car comes screaming straight at him.
As the man begins to run, the car speeds up. So the man turns around and hurries back to the curb, but the car changes lanes and keeps coming. Now the car is so close and the pedestrian is so scared that he freezes in the middle of the intersection. The car closes in on him – then swerves at the last minute and screeches to a halt.
The driver, rolls down the window. Behind the steering wheel is a squirrel.
“See,” sneers the squirrel, “it’s not as easy as it looks, is it?”
The hard driving squirrel demands from the terrified pedestrian the same thing Bartimaeus asks of Jesus in today’s Gospel: understanding and compassion for their lives and the challenges they face. The blind Bartimaeus first cries out to Jesus, not asking for physical sight, but for compassion – Bartimaeus recognises that his need for the mercy and grace of God’s presence is far more important and critical in his life than the ability to see. Ironically, this blind man “sees” the compassion of Jesus that many of Jesus’ “seeing” disciples do not recognise. And Jesus responds to him out of his deep love for every human being.
The story of the blind Bartimaeus – and the pedestrian scurrying for his life – challenges us to see ourselves and one another in the light of the compassionate love of God, to journey with eyes of faith to discern the way of God in all things.
– Dr John Frauenfelder, CSO Broken Bay