Scripture: Mark 10:46-52, "The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus" (NRSV)
Denominations shrink, ministers are laid off, congregations close, others merge mightily hoping to prevent such an end for themselves. Increasingly however, American culture and society find these entities of religion irrelevant to their daily lives.
The Religious Right speeds religion's demise by anointing POTUS 45 their Latter-Day Messiah whose behavior in nearly all regards reflects how utterly unfit he is to serve the real majority in United States that DID NOT VOTE FOR HIM by over three million votes. At most all of 45's political rallies, the attending Religious Right Evangelicals cheer and clap at the 7.6 whopper falsehoods that 45 tells daily. They heartily endorse and encourage his onstage temper tantrums and anger outbursts, say what a swell guy 45 is, love that he loves politicians who body slam journalists, and then they pray for him. The Religious Right's blindness gets so bad that in January 2018, former RNC/GOP Chair, Michael Steele, told Religious Right Evangelicals on MSNBC Hardball, “Just shut the hell up and don’t ever preach to me about anything ever again. I don’t want to hear it.”
Even this week, the blindness deepens as Pat Robertson, a prominent leader of the Religious Right, made things a thousand times worse when he announced that the torture and murder of American Resident and Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was not of importance and what was of importance was POTUS 45's $100 billion plus arms deal with the Saudis. My words at that moment were, "Robertson, just shut the hell up..."
I don't see the blindness of the Religious Right, mesmerized by 45, ever waking up out of its delusion and delight over him. They will always be searching for the next malignant narcissistic megalomaniac peddling the snake oil that speaks to them.
What I do see are the many who suffer with a different kind of blindness, the kind of blindness that comes from the loss of hope. As a psychotherapist, I witness all too often the psychological assault after assault that 45 mounts upon the American Citizenry. Calling one person horseface, he calls another Pocahontas, other people get called stupid, losers, fake, and the list of 45's verbal abuse/assaults goes on and on. For those to whom this kind of evil appeals, you and God will one day have your very own personal chat together and I doubt there will be much pleasantry in it.
In Bartimaeus however, we have the example of someone who never lost hope. People put this disabled blind beggar down, pushed him to the side believing him of no importance, tried to silence him. Yet, when the real deal came along - that is when Jesus came along rather than some artist of the con - Bartimaeus called out and kept calling out to Jesus until he was heard and the crowd parted and Bartimaeus taken before Jesus and healed.
We too will be healed for God is in the world. God is working out God's purposes for God's Just, Diverse, Peaceable Reign here on The Earth. In this dark bewildering blinding evil time, we must be like Bartimaeus and never lose hope. We must never lose our voice, even when there are those seeking to take that voice (or vote) away from us.
We will one day be healed of the damage that 45 and his followers are doing to and in the world. The malignant narcissists of history have always fallen and have not prevailed. Their names are known to us: Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Henry the VIII, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, Joseph Stalin, Napoleon Bonaparte, General Antonio Santa Anna, Gaddafi, Putin, and many more. Their disturbing frightening despicable natures always find their way onto the trash heap of history. God sees to it and in ways we cannot always discern or comprehend.
There will be a healing journey that faces us as a nation after the trauma and evil of the present moment has parted from off the world stage and passed out of our day to day national consciousness. It will be like the parting of the crowd for Bartimaeus, so we too can be brought before our God for healing. At that time, and in our own very personal moments as blind beggars seeking restoration of what is good and right, the words of God's Spirit and Transforming Grace will be spoken to our hearts and minds. We shall hear it said, "What do you want me to do for you?" And we will answer, "Help us see again the path we are to be upon." From there, we will follow what is good and right as did Bartimaeus and the words of Revelation 21 will renew their movement toward fulfillment:
"Then I saw new heavens and a new earth. The former heavens and the former earth had passed away, and the sea existed no longer. I also saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride and groom on their wedding day. And I heard a loud voice calling from the throne, “Look! God’s Tabernacle is among humanity! God will live with them; they will be God’s people, and God will be fully present among them. The Most High will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death, mourning, crying, and pain will be no more, for the old order has fallen.”
The One who sat on the throne said, “Look! I’m making everything new!” and added, “Write this, for what I am saying is trustworthy and true.” And the One continued, “It is finished. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To those who are thirsty I will give drink freely from the spring of the water of life. This is the rightful inheritance of the overcomers. I will be their God and they will be my daughters and sons.” ---- Revelations 21:1-7, The Inclusive New Testament
Free of Encumbrance