Pause

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. As you slowly inhale and exhale, breathe in the truth of God’s mercy. The radical notion that God extends favor and blessings to us when we don’t deserve them.

What kind of God is this?

A God that seeks your fellowship in this moment.

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Listen

Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.”

Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus on the way.

Mark 10:51-52

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Think

Our friend Bartimaeus is standing face-to-face with Jesus, God in flesh. He had recognized his opportunity, been persistent with his cries in the face of criticism, and now it is Bartimaeus’s moment. Remember, he first cried for Jesus to “have mercy on me.” Jesus knew what Bartimaeus wanted, yet he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Some have said Jesus’ words can be interpreted as, “What kind of mercy do you want?”

Ok, you’re standing in front of God and you get an open-ended question. The sky is the limit. Go for broke, right? Yet, Bartimaeus used the reverent, respectful form “Rabbi” (Teacher) and made his request to see… not to be better than others, but to be like them — to be whole.

Today, Jesus stands ready to be merciful to those in need. Respectfully and clearly speak with him. Wholeness is a conversation away.

Bill Ogletree

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Pray

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to talk with and listen to you, to be in conversation. Today, help me to clearly ask for your mercy as I need it, and lead me to show others mercy when I struggle to do so on my own. Amen.

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Go

In 2013, Pope Francis shared that Jesus’ most powerful message for us is mercy.

In a “get even” world, where can you share the radical message of Christ’s mercy today? Can you extend mercy within a broken relationship at school or in the workplace?

It may not feel natural or be easy, but as the Apostle Paul reminds us, with God all things are possible.

Bill Ogletree

Bill Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University where he chairs the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. His professional interests center on the communication needs and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. When not at work, Bill enjoys time with his wife and family, an assortment of pets, and a variety of stringed instruments.

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