First Steps to Recovery
(Posted October 20, 2021)
“Now for most of us “recovery” is something that other people have to deal with.”
-- Reverend Bob Lentz, Pastor, Fellowship Community Church, South Carolina
Here’s my question for you this week. What DO YOU need to recover from in your life?
It may be, like Pastor Bob suggests above, that you think that recovery is for other people. People with big problems like drinking or alcoholism or drugs. To tell you the truth, it’s likely that most of us reading this have had these addictions touch our lives, if not by our own behavior than from other people.
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The Things We Don’t Talk About
I’d like to point out to you, however, that most of us are quietly harboring something that we need to show to God and ask God to help us overcome. The things we don’t often talk about are shadows in our lives that have left a long-lasting wound, a scar inside us. They can be many things: abuse or betrayal by someone we love; the devastation of losing a loved one; a dream that was dashed by others; being on the receiving end for prejudice because of race, age, disability, gender or anything else; being dealt an injustice without recompense.
These kinds of buried scars can lead to one thing: The destruction of trust in others, even in God. And that leads to the collapse of hope for change.
The Blind Man’s Burden
This Sunday, however, we can learn a thing or two from Bartimaeus, the blind man in the Gospel. Jesus encounters Blind Bartimaeus at the city gates of Jericho, where he has sat, begging on a pile of rags, for most of his life. We don’t know if he’s been blind from birth, but it’s possible.
People passing him by barely notice him, because like “a good little beggar,” he keeps quiet. They do not chase him away because when they do drop him a coin, it makes them feel superior.
But one day Bartimaeus hears that Jesus is coming his way through the gates, and he realizes it’s his only chance to be healed. He starts a ruckus calling out to Jesus. The crowds try to shush him. But the blind man persists. When Jesus notices him from a distance, he calls to Bartimaeus to come to him.
Our Lesson from the Blind Man
Now, here’s the important thing to note. Jesus doesn’t walk over TO him. He makes Bartimaeus stand and follow Jesus’ voice despite his sightlessness. Can Bartimaeus muster enough trust for that first step in the darkness?
The blind man casts off his rags and follows the sound. By the time he reaches Jesus, his sight is restored. For the rest of us the lesson is the same. If we open our mouths and call out to Jesus, he will hear us. But WE must take the first steps in our own recovery. I’m inviting you to come on Sunday and hear the rest of the stories and how they can impact our healing.