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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, April 12, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Mark 10:46–52

They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. (NRSV)

If you’ve ever transitioned into a management position (and even if you haven’t), you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it.” I’ve realized in both a professional and personal setting that embodying that phrase gets you nowhere. If you come across as having it all together, knowing all the right answers, and calling all the shots, you’ll soon be very disappointed and likely very tired. People will look to you for the answers. People will expect you to write the book on whatever it is you’re the “expert” at. It’s a tiring façade to maintain.

Instead, I’ve adopted a phrase one of my former supervisors alluded to several times: “Know that you don’t know, and that’s OK.” No one has it figured out. If we did, then we wouldn’t be here in the classroom of life. Our time on earth is when we should embrace not knowing, embrace our mistakes or our sins, and embrace that we definitely don’t have it all together.

In today’s reading, Bartimaeus is humble enough to admit he wasn’t fully presentable to Christ and likely knew he wasn’t worthy enough for society around him. However, he also knew all he needed to engage with Christ was his faith. The worldly challenges and shortcomings did not concern Christ, as long as Bartimaeus believed Christ would still welcome him as a child of God.

This is our ongoing challenge, to know that we do not know, and to leave the rest to God despite what society deems as “enough.” We are already enough in the eyes of God, as long as we believe.

Loving Christ, remind us we are learners on this journey, and our humble hearts and willingness to learn will always lead us toward you. Amen.

Written by Jackie Lorens Harris, Director, Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center

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