He Stopped In His Tracks

“When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.’” –Mark 10:47

A few of you have heard me share this story, but this seems like a good week to repeat it. A few hours before one of my recent surgeries, Loretta and I were reading together about the blind man sitting on the side of the road in Jericho. His name was Bartimaeus. When Bartimaeus heard it was Jesus who was walking by, he began to shout out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Over and over he yelled. Despite being rebuked by others, he continued to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And it’s the reaction of Jesus that touched my heart that morning of the surgery. The bible says that when Jesus heard him shouting, He stopped walking. Some Bible versions say that He “stood still,” but I prefer the version that says  ”He stopped in His tracks.”

Oh my sweet family and friends, although I’m not blind, I was begging. I didn’t want the Lord to take another sweet step. Seconds before surgery, a nurse tried small talk, but I’m afraid she sounded more like the teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons. They transferred me to the operating table which – for all I knew – sat on the side of that dusty road in Jericho. When the doctor said he would see me in recovery, I slowly turned my head to the side, and as tears streamed from my shut eyes, I stole a line from Bartimaeus and fell asleep.Psalm 6619

Well, the surgery was successful. Jesus stopped in His tracks. Praise God, He stood still to hear a prayer. You know, when Bartimaeus received his sight, the very first thing he did was follow Jesus along the road. I suppose he figured the best test of his new peepers was to focus on the One who finally made them work. I plan on doing the very same thing.

–Jimmy Peña