Today we investigated what Bartimaeus might mean by asking for mercy, in the healing described in Mark 10:46-52.
At a minimum, it seems to mean that Bartimaeus insists that Jesus pay attention to him: some kind of good attention.
We practiced this ourselves in three forms.
First, as each of us said our names in the circle, we tried to accept the good (loving, interested, supportive, caring, etc.) attention from all the others present. Humans.
In pairs, then, we took turns discussing what we might want from a healing mercy directed towards us. When one spoke, the other listened affirmatively, sticking close in imagination to what the speaker wanted.
Third, we turned a meditative glance at the text, each of us pondering and burrowing silently into Bartimaeus' impassioned plea, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me!"
We were aiming at a not-human, or not only human, source of the good. So the central meditation involved a dual challenge: to feel such a source as present, and to accept its gifts.
Finally, having warmed the incoming light through our reception, we rayed it back outward as a universal blessing.
Thursday and next Tuesday, we will go a bit further, asking, "To what end would I be healed?" An answer might start with this gesture of empowered blessing, but the question itself will lead us into the next healing story, John 5:1-9.
all blessings to all,