Bartimeaus the Blind Beggar.

I have to have a good spot today, it’s important….more important than any other day of my whole life and I’ll tell you for why!
They call me Bartimeaus….well somebody did….my parents I suppose!…..Have you ever heard such a daft name…..well, it sounds daft to me when they call me it… they, I mean all the folks I hear every day. I can’t really call them my friends….although some of them are friendly enough, giving me the odd crust here and there to keep me alive…..But friends?….no….I don’t think of them as friends….and I’ll tell you for why!

Friends are together-people, if you know what I mean.
They are those who meet up together in the market-place, calling out to one another and saying “Oi Rueben, come round to my place tonight and have dinner with the wife and me!”……or “James! How Y’ doing my friend?…..we hear you have a new little one in the house, we will visit you tomorrow and bring food and wine to eat with you”
(Laughs ruefully) Yes, friends seem always to be eating! But with me it is different. Some are friendly enough as I say, but there are others who do not speak, but I know they are not my friends for sure, the rough shove and the occasional kick they give me when I am in their way……..let’s me know where I stand….or fall even!
Then there are the Roman soldiers everywhere……now they are definitely not anybody’s friends…..but for me and my kind they have no pity. I hear their boots and I press my back to the wall and hope they are not angry with anyone today, because….if they are…..well, I’ve felt their boot in my back before now.

But today, I do not care about any of them….friend or foe…..and I’ll tell you for why!
All these years, since I was old enough to stand and shout, I have been here in my corner of the street doing just that….every day of my life. If I don’t shout, nobody is going to notice me, and if nobody notices me there is no money in my bowl at the end of the day and no money means no bread, and….well, let’s put it like this, I may not be a greedy man, but I do need to eat!

Anyway,….today is different, because today I have come to see….well you know what I mean,…this man Jesus who I have heard of….(I hear a lot sitting here with my bowl from dawn to dusk, believe me!)
This Jesus, He has been going all over Judea with his band of followers, preaching and teaching people another way of life it sounds to me….and a far better one from what I have heard.
But, more than that,….and this is where I come in……He has been healing people!…Yes….healing them of all sorts!….And He sounds genuine, not one of these cranks that say they heal people but really they just play with the mind so folks think they are better. No, this guy is different! I have heard all sorts of tales in the market-place as I sit there in the shadows…..even talk of someone being raised from the dead, would you believe?!….Well!….if He can do that He could sort out my eyes couldn’t He?….d’you know what I mean?!

So, I am going to shout today the loudest I have ever shouted, because He is going to be passing by here soon, and….well, if he could do anything for me……..if he could make me see even!….just imagine that!….Well, I can’t imagine it, but I know I want sight, whatever that is….yes….I know I want it….more than I want money in my bowl or bread in my belly, and that really is saying something!

Chrystabell 2012 ©
Revised 2013 for ‘A Passion for Shoreham’


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