From our comrades at The Wilderness Way in Portland, OR:
“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.”–Mark 10:46-52
Week Three’s Skill of Loving is RESPONDING TO NEEDS:
“I will respond to your needs and be there for you, within the limits of my value system, when those needs are made known. I also take the responsibility to make my needs known.”
Connection with Christian Scriptures
In this story, Jesus is leaving the city of Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, when a blind man starts begging him for mercy. Many people told him to be quiet, to not bother Jesus, to not name his needs in public. But Jesus responded. Approaching the blind man, he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said simply, “Rabbi, I want to see.” And Jesus replied, “Go, your faith has healed you.” And the man could see, and joined Jesus’ movement.
In this brief story lie many dynamics of the Skills of Loving we have been practicing this Advent: Seeing, Hearing, and Responding to Needs. How do you see these skills playing out (or not) in the story?
For further reflection, what is your experience of responding to the needs of others or making your own needs known? Do you tend toward overly responding to the point of violating your own value system? Do you tend toward invulnerability and resisting asking for what you need? Do you tend to be overly dependent on others to meet your needs for you?
This week, we invite you take the next right step for yourself in practicing the skill of RESPONDING TO NEEDS, and to post your experiences of the practice and reflections on these questions.