A Song of Bartimaeus – my imagining of Mark 10:46-52

It had been years, years, since he had seen the light of day,
     sitting by the side of that dusty, unforgiving road.
Beauty he once consumed, vistas he once felt, eyes he had once known,
          the very word drove pain into his breast;
          Not his eyes, but others.
Sitting by the road, coughing up the dust that tortured his lungs,
his ears whisper to him that which his dark eyes cannot:
     that other eyes are blind to his,
     that the symphony of sandals which shuffle past him year after year
     hold the descant of eyes that soar above him,
     eyes that choose not to see the eyes that are choosing
          to yearn, to crave, to seek…

He had long memorized the song of his place on the road,
     the laughter of a child running to catch up with her father,
     the gush of water being carrying past his withered shell of a body,
     the sharp curses of the men who, with their eyes upon the future,
          trip over his fragile legs and never look back.

And then, one day, the symphony changed without warning.
The whispers surround him as his ears adjusted to the change of key,
     a modulation which challenges his monotonous life.
     Two words he manages to capture:  he saves.
Quickly, intensely, abruptly, the feet scuffle off and he once again
     is left alone.

In the silence, he wonders, could it be?  Who hadn’t heard the rumor of the man
     who stills waters,
     who perishes demons,
     who grabs hands and lifts.
With a grimace the shrunken muscles of his arms
force the hunch of his back to straighten his posture.
He turns his face to align his ears to prod the silence.

And then, it came.  The silence began to be pushed away,
     the feet returned but with a different tone.
     What was different about this crowd?
     What it the shouting,
         the concentration of sound,
         the way in which the sound unveiled itself to him as
         a different crowd approached.
     No.  That wasn’t it.

And then the spark happened.  A small but unsettling flash of light
     in the sea of his darkness.
And then, he knew.
A whisper which stirred his heart and
     erupted a primal cry within his breast….

MERCY!!!! he cries.  Mercy on me!  His eyes had never been wider.
     the flash in his darkness stilled but remained bright.
The clash of his cry hushed the crowd as they realized
     that a new improvisation was thrust upon their scripted symphony.
Hush!  Shut up!  Be quiet!

MERCY!!!! he cries again.  Mercy upon me!!!
Then, a word beckons him
    Not a word of confusion and monotony,
    but of grace and intimacy.

Not his strength but a new force within him springs him up.
Others begin to cough and wheeze as the dust is shaken from his cloak,
     caught in the wind and blown to the side.

Let me see again, he says.
The blurry light he had seen began to dance around his head
splattering paint of deepest blue and brightest yellow
His eyes adjust to a new light, a different light.
This light is not what it had been before.
This light brings him more questions and answers.

As his eyes begin their abundant feast
     he knows that he must follow this light
For it will take no less than his lifetime
     to proclaim the mystery of this sight.


1 Comment

Filed under Scripture Reflections

One response to “A Song of Bartimaeus – my imagining of Mark 10:46-52

  1. Beautiful, this will preach.

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