One of my favorite stories of Jesus is the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus, in Mark 10. There are a few things that always grab my heart in this story, namely, a stubbornness and a cloak thrown aside.
Once Bartimaeus knows Jesus is present, he cries out, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me." (vs 47) He is rebuked for interrupting. He is told to be quiet and not so rude. Then one of my favorite verses says, "But he shouted all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me.'' (vs 48) This strikes the ear and heart of Jesus, because He calls Bartimaeus to come to Him to be healed.
At that point, Mark says, Bartimaeus "threw his cloak aside, and he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus." (vs 50)
I have always loved the rudeness that often attends a person who desperately needs care and healing. I beggar is not always as polite as those who have everything would like them to be. The people I sit with most days are not always so pleasant, nor are they particularly polite. When I am tempted to be frustrated with their lack of tact, there are times I have to wonder how I would be if everything was ripped out from under me. If my family had kicked me out into the streets because they simply did not want me around any longer. If every corner I tried to turn was another no and sent me further into a spiral I cannot "just get a job" and walk out of.
I have to imagine a day to day survival living would cause me to be a bit rude when some sort of hope and help were made available. That is, I imagine my refusal to give up might appear as "rude" to those who don't just have to survive each day.
Then there is the cloak. For a blind man in the first century Palestine, this cloak is a security. Blind men were thought to be cursed, and if you were cursed, your family had no trouble throwing you out into the street. This man had been kicked out into the elements with only a cloak to protect him. When he drops his cloak, he drops all his security to go to Jesus.
Where do I place my security? What helps me feel like I have even a little bit of control? Am I willing to be stubbornly persistent to lay my security aside to come to Jesus, even if it irritates the ones who have it all together?