Have any of you ever been to the Bellevue coal mine in the Crowsnest Pass? I went there with my parents a few years ago and we had so much fun. This is a picture of me and my Mom all decked out on the trip. We have got on long sleeve jackets in the summer because it is cold in there, but more important is what is on our heads. We are wearing these hard hats with headlamps on them. This cord comes down the back to connect the lamp to a battery pack.
The tour guide there takes the whole group for a walk deep into the mine. You get in there so far that you cannot see the sunshine anymore. And then he asks you to turn off your lamp! Once all the lights are turned off, how do you feel? Maybe scared or nervous? Lost? Blind? I remember feeling that way when I was there.
What if you knew that among the crowd gathered in that mine there was someone who had a gift for you? What would you do to find that person?
In our Bible story today (Mark 10: 46-52), we hear about a blind man named Bartimaeus looking for a gift in a crowd. He could see just about as much as my Mom and I when all the lights turned off in the mine. But he was determined to find Jesus who could give him the gift of healing his sight and restoring his vision!
Do you know what it means to be determined? Bartimaeus had a goal; he wanted to see. So he was asking questions, pulling on the sleeves of strangers, and shouting out in search of Jesus and that gift. When Jesus heard, he came to help. Jesus gave Bartimaeus the gift he had been seeking. He said, “Your faith has made you well.”
Having faith; being determined; recognising goals; asking for help – these are things that Jesus wants for our lives. All are traits that Bartimaeus has. In those ways (not the blindness), let’s try to be more like Bartimaeus.