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Crying Without Tears

“But he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”  Mark 10:48

“A person once told me that crying without tears is the worst form of crying. And they were right- because the weeping of the soul hurts so much more and no one can console you because no one can see, and even if they can they do not reach its tremendous depth. 

This is a tribute to all those who have felt the anguish of tearless sobs and broken spirits. May God guide you through it, and may those you love be there for you when the tears start to fall and every moment after.” (Flickr)

It is a beautiful, moving story. “Jesus heals blind man.” We rejoice! Every story about the miracles of Jesus inspires us. But there is always a story behind the story. How did Bartimaeus find the motivation, how did he find his way out of his darkness to utter his life-changing cry? If you say it was simple, you don’t understand the complicated nature of the cry for help. I know what happens, for example, between a person’s decision to step out from their pew into the aisle and go to an altar of repentance. I know that story. But I don’t always know how that same person got from the parking lot to the pew. What motivates someone to finally cry for help? The greatest struggle is before the cry, not after. 

What is a cry made of? What really motivates a Bartimaeus to escape the suffocating sightlessness of his existence and scream out to God? For every effect, there is a cause. There must be an action before there is a reaction. Bartimaeus was a beggar, blind, penniless, without credibility, powerless.  He cried out for mercy from Jesus, calling Him the Son of David. No one asks mercy from a peer or a subordinate. Mercy must be asked from a person in authority who has the power to determine one’s fate. The crowd told him to be quiet. The blind man was a disturbance. They had no sympathy for him. They represented a barrier between the blind man and his healing. 

Let’s look into Bartimaeus’ soul. This was much more complicated than just a blind man crying out for sight. His condition was not enough to elicit a cry from his soul to Jesus. (Have you ever been frustrated at a person who was in trouble but didn’t tell anyone?) There was more. The pressure for him to remain silent was huge. He had to overcome the voices in his head that tried to silence him. There was the doubt that he could be healed. Today, people educated in this modern system have had many doubts sown into their hearts about the power of Jesus to heal. There was the fear that he would not be heard. Do you know what it is like to finally gather enough courage to say something about your problem and then suffer the ultimate hurt of not being heard? It’s like you have no right, no standing, no worthiness, no purpose, no divine plan for your life. To others, you do not seem to count. There was the possibility that he would not be received. Rejection is one of the worst emotions a human being can experience. Jesus knows the trauma of rejection. 

Your cry for help may be more complicated than anyone—even you—understands. Who knows what voices you hear from your past? Who knows what negative self-images hammer your brain? Who know the depth of your self-doubts, insecurities and fears? What shame lies buried within your heart? What secret pain has never been able to find full expression? How many times have you stifled your cry? We may not have a clue. 

Was there another blind man in the crowd that day? Could he have heard the approaching throng and entertained the fleeting thought that he could receive his miracle? When his opportunity arrived, did he gather his robes around him and shuffle off into the dark night, convinced that things could never be any different for him? Unless you first conquer the enemies within, you have no courage to fight the enemies without! 

Cry out; you will not be cast out!  “All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.”  John 6:37.

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