Yesterday pastor Joe preached powerfully from Luke 18 on the story of the healing of Blind Bart. It's one of the few stories that's found in all three Synoptic Gospels, with Matthew telling us that there were actually two blind men, without naming them. Mark alone names him. The point that I had never noticed before was the significance of the location. It was just outside the city of Jericho, the very same city whose walls came tumbling down in the days of Joshua when the people of Israel let out a mighty shout. In the Gospel story, the New Joshua (Jesus is merely the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name Joshua) responds to the shout of this blind man, tearing down the wall of darkness that held him prisoner.
My faith and prayers I suspect have often been too quiet, too sedate. This man was desperate, and out of that desperation shouted, refusing to be silenced. Just as the shout of the Israelites resounded outside the city centuries before, so the shout of Blind Bart was heard outside the city as Jesus passed by. When he heard the shout, he stopped. I wonder how often I've let Jesus simply pass by because I neglected to shout.
In response to my desire, God has been teaching me about prayer. Tonight it's all about volume. I don't think I have to go around shouting my prayers like a TV evangelist, but it's time for me to ignore decorum and raise my voice till Jesus takes notice and stops to hear my heart's cry. Thank you, Joe, for opening up this text yesterday. Thank you, Father, for inspiring him to do so, and for enabling him to do it with power.