'Go, your faith has made you well,' Jesus says to Bartimaeus as this blind man's sight is restored.
But I wonder, is it that Bartimaeus' faith made him well, or is this short hand for something more complex?
I have been experiencing an ebb and flow of wellness and not quite wellness recently, of my holistic health. There are habits of mind and spirit I have needed and wanted to change, exchanging habits of compromised health for habits of wholeness and healing. As I begin to experience again improving health and find myself at last sticking to rhythms I have long known I wanted to embrace, it has been my 'faith' that has been making me well.
What do I mean by that?
I guess what I am beginning to see this week as I reflect on this story from the Gospel of Mark, and on my great joy at making some long-anticipated changes, is that my faith, which is my orientation towards God / the Sacred / the Holy, is inspiring and challenging me to deepen that orientation, to allow my sense of self as whole in God to transform me ever closer towards wholeness.
It isn't simply that 'my faith' makes me well, but what that faith actually is. It is relationship with God, it is a commitment to live God's way of love, it is a diving into the Holy and being transformed.
So when Jesus says, 'your faith has made you well', I wonder if what he is actually saying is that in partnership with God, you have found healing.
And I wonder if every time he said these words, he wanted to dance a dance of joy (imagine him saying the words, put yourself in his place and say them, and see if you can help smiling)!