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Monday, November 24, 2008

Following Jesus on The Way

Growing up in the ministry world I have (thankfully) been slowly and sometimes painfully readied for a life I never imagined, dreamed or hoped I’d have. Being a ministry partner of a pastor is proving to be (mostly) what I expected.

Church yesterday was hard. Ray and I have been in Mertens long enough now that people are starting to open up and completely unload their pain, struggles and questions on their ministers. You would think that living in a rural area there would be fewer issues and possibly less pain, but that is completely incorrect.

In our small community of less 200, we are walking with people through incredibly difficult, painful, draining and heartbreaking situations. I found myself at a loss of words and feeling completely devoid of wisdom several times.

But I was reminded yesterday that God stops and that most of the time that is what people need from us; to stop.

Ray finished a sermon sires yesterday called “Following Jesus on The Way.” Sunday’s text was the story of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10. The thing that stuck out to me was that Jesus was walking amongst a crowd of hundreds, possibly thousands; people who I’m sure had been longing to catch a glimpse of Jesus of Nazareth. I assume the crowd around him was thick and loud as they wandered past the blind beggar on his blanket.

Bartimaeus had heard of this Jesus. Some were calling him the Messiah. Was it true that he could heal the leper and wake the dead? “Could he heal me,” he wondered. He wanted to believe, he needed to believe. As the crowds grew louder his heart began to race, his palms began to sweat and knowing there was a possibility that Jesus would pass him by he cried out,

“JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”
“Be quiet!” many of people shouted.
But he only shouted louder,
“JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!”
And when Jesus heard him, he stopped . . .

I believe it was in that moment that Bartimaeus’ world was changed. Jesus stopped. Jesus stopped for him. Jesus stopped to listen. In that one small action Jesus gave hope to man who had been tossed aside by society and labeled as nothing.

He stopped.

I am clearly not Christ and don’t have to ability to give sight to a blind man, I do have the ability to stop.

To stop and listen with a compassionate heart. To stop and give my full attention to someone’s cry. To stop and hold someone’s hand as they walk through pain I don’t understand. To stop and help them search for the wisdom I don’t possess. To stop and listen for God among the crowd saying “tell him to come here.”

Christ Stopped.

Will you?

1 comment:

Jenn P said...

Precious Friend,
This post touched my heart. May God open our eyes, ears, and hearts to see those around us that just need us to stop for them. I know you are a blessing to so many in Mertens.