The Bible story of Bartimaeus is touching and encouraging - he definitely wasn't going to give up! You might like to try using the passage to do an Ignatian imaginative contemplation. If you don't know how to do that, then you will find an introduction here.

Familiarise yourself with the story below as told in Mark's gospel, then stop reading, close your eyes, and imagine the scene unfolding before you. You might be aware of the dust on your feet, of the noises of the crowd, the jostling. Let your imagination go - be there!

When you have finished, come back to the text below the reading.

The story of Bartimaeus
Mark 10:46-52

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

From the NRSV

After the time of imaginative contemplation, reflect for a little while:
  • I wonder how the scene unfolded for you?
  • Were you yourself in the scene or did you identify yourself with someone already in the story?
  • Did you speak to Jesus?
  • How did Jesus respond to you?
  • How did you feel?
Let the story from your imagination just 'be' inside your heart and head.

When you feel ready, speak to God directly about your time of prayer. Just as though God (perhaps in the person of Jesus) were sitting beside you. Speak from your heart.

Then finish by thanking God and returning to a sense of everyday life.

It often helps to write down your thoughts either at this time or a little later - perhaps in a prayer journal that you can keep and look back on. Sometimes, just the writing can be a time of spiritual integration - when things fall into place - or maybe it's just to keep a record for the future.

The blessing of the living God, creator, redeemer and life-giver be with you always.

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  1. Jackie Bellfield  

    23 October 2009 at 00:43

    I love it - what a wonderful story of grace and healing. I am looking forward to preaching on this on Sunday.

  2. Anonymous  

    23 October 2009 at 10:05 shout above the crowds...above the people who are putting you down..rubbishing you..silencing you.. is massive faith indeed.
    I believe God rewards us in many ways when we go out of our comfort zone in faith....
    Thank you Kath....a great reassurance in times of struggle..
    Faith can move mountains...

    Col x

  3. Kath Williamson  

    23 October 2009 at 22:22

    Yes - we are sometimes like Bartimaeus - tenacious and determined to be heard - reaching out to God. That's good.

    And sometimes we are like the crowd - brushing those aside who are in our way. We do it without thought sometimes. That's not so good.

    But I believe we should be aiming to mirror Jesus in this story. Turning to the one who is calling out and saying - with compassion and directness - 'What do you want me to do for you?'

    Oh-ooh - I've just scared myself!