The final sip or the last bite? Which one do you savor most? Staring at the table before me, I contemplated this choice. I decided to eat the last bite of cake and follow it with the final sip of coffee. I’m grateful that minuscule decisions like this one are peaceful instead of stressful. As I savor the moment in this gluten-free, vegetarian restaurant, I inhale, “I can be myself,” and exhale, “I let go of people-pleasing.”
The freedom to be oneself is a gift, but for some of us, it’s a hard-fought battle. We’ve been corrected or shamed into fitting in with everyone else. I confess that I have a history of following, of going along to get along.
When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” “Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Mark 10:47-48
I love the story of Bartimaeus. He didn’t let what others said deter him from what he needed most: healing. He knew his healing was nearby, and no one was going to shame him into silence.
My favorite part of the story is when Jesus acknowledges Bartimaeus. The crowd changes their tune.
When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.” So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you!” Mark 10:49
Who Knows Best?
The crowd is not always the best judge of what is suitable for the individual. Bartimaeus had to shout. He had to stand up for himself in that moment. And when his boldness paid off, he was healed because of his faith. In an instant, he was healed and followed Jesus down the road. (Mark 10:52-53)
Savor the Moment
To be healed by Christ is a glorious treasure to savor. For me, my boldest times of crying out to God in prayer came from a desperate need to be healed. There were toxic thoughts and malformed habits that were crippling my spiritual growth. I’m grateful that Jesus heard my cries. I’m grateful for Bartimaeus’ example. I pray for those too afraid to go against the crowd and do what’s best for themselves. And I pray that as we savor the moment of our healing, we’ll recognize the need to tell our stories. So that others will be empowered to make their needs known, and not let people-pleasing get in their way.