I tend to run away from conflict and keep silent. Others I know stand and fight and make their voices heard. Both reactions have a positive and negative side. Sometimes we do have to stand up and speak out, other times we need to be silent and listen.
Bartimaeus the blind beggar from today's Gospel taken from Mark 10:46-52 is one who made his voice heard and he represents the people who are unwilling to remain on the margins, unwilling to listen to others who suggest that things cannot be different; that change is only daydreaming.
These people have a prophetic voice, not prophets of doom but prophets of hope.
Bartimaeus refused to listen to those who tried to stop him and he shouted all the louder. Today’s gospel challenges us about what we see. Who do we shun, rebuke or silence? Even now, who is crying out for understanding and compassion? Whose cries are we not hearing?
The cries of people like Bartimaeus who need healing and who are not prepared to shut up and be silenced reach the heart of God. It is an incredible act of hope – a hope that things can be different. It is the refusal to remain powerless and passive. Silence keeps people hopeless and keeps them beggars. The blind man is grounded in God's peace and though blind knows that God is a God of mercy. He may not have known all the facts about his condition but in recognizing the true nature of God, in calling out and being heard, perhaps he discovered he had always been able to see. That's insight.
Listen to 'Find your voice' track 7 from 'Like a beautiful day'.