The Art of Stopping
“And Jesus stopped . . ." Mark 10:49
The cry of Bartimaeus encompasses the world’s distress. For every soul, in all generations, in every civilization, living in spiritual despair and darkness, the first step toward salvation is to cry out. People cry out for help every day, but do we hear them? In our crowded cities, log-jammed freeways, full calendars, life demands we rush on to the next thing. We are crazy busy.
No one’s schedule will ever be as packed as Jesus’ during the last days of His life. He faced the cleansing of the temple, confrontation of authorities, and the cross. Death for Him was imminent, He knew it, and felt it all the more. Jerusalem was nearing up ahead, as was the trial, the scourging, the mocking and the cross.
With the weight of the sin of the world pressing down Him, He knew He was headed for the final showdown with darkness and its leader. Jesus prepared Himself to say goodbye to family and His disciples. His thoughts, His emotions were turbulent. But Jesus did not forget.
He was not so absorbed in His own sorrow that He forgot the wayside beggar. On the way, Jesus stopped. He stops the parade and stands, giving His full attention, heart, mind and soul, to Bartimaeus. By stopping, Jesus said, "You count." The blind man wasn't just a face in the crowd.
Stopping is an art, and must be done intentionally and with design. Stopping is hard to do because we are so prone to be engrossed in our own busyness that we arrive at each appointment frazzled, unfocused and breathless.
Stopping is not easy. It takes humility and reverence. Stopping is preliminary to any real work of God. Jesus never healed anybody on the run. He was never too busy to notice others in need. He never allowed noise to drown out the need.
Stopping is a necessary part of any real move of God. As His disciples, we are never above our Master. We, too, must learn to stand still and pay attention to those in our life.
Who are the three people on your list that you are praying for? Be open today for a conversation with them.