Beyoncé, Bartimaeus and Bubbles
Let’s start with Beyoncé. True to herself. Asking for what she wants. Letting her true colors shine through. She and Baritmaeus in our gospel reading from Mark 10:46-52 have these things in common. Energy, willingness, “throwing off a cloak”, believing so that then you can see. In her movie “Homecoming” Beyoncé shares this quote;"You can’t be what you can’t see.” The quote is from Marian Wright Edelman, at Spelman College in 1959. Here is a short video of her. Marian Wright Edelman founded the The Children’s Defense Fund. She believed she could do these things and she did. In the healing of Bartimaeus it is first his believing, his asking, his shouting out, his stepping out blindly in faith that precedes seeing. Seeing is believing and believing is seeing. It is both.
Both Beyoncé and Bartimaeus stepped out in faith. Reflecting upon the call story, the faith story, the healing story- call it what you will story - of Bartimaeus in Mark’s gospel, the song of another Houston singer/song writer came to mind; I can see clearly now the rain is gone - Johnny Nash like Beyoncé originates from Houston, Texas. And like Bartimaeus- there is joy and rejoicing. Another song speaks of going from blindness to sight. The story of the hymn writer of Amazing Grace- is another “both”- someone who at one point enslaved people and then advocated for abolition. This version sung by the Pentatonix is beautiful. Both these songs came to mind as I have reflected on the story of Bartimaeus.
“You don’t know what you don’t know.” Knowing comes in many different ways. There are so many ways we can come to know something and someone. For the past couple of weeks I have been keeping an eye out for “beauty”. Training my eyes to focus on when I see God’s handiwork in creation. It can often be fleeting. Bubbles are often here and then quickly gones. The idea of “bubbles” of joy, bubbling awareness, bubbles of love and protection have been on my mind. We have a box of bubble wrap we are saving for “Noisy November” so I am “seeing” bubbles all over the place. I have become a fan of spindrift carbonated water and sometimes pause to watch the bubbles come to the surface. Lately, a friend and I have been venturing out to new bubble tea spots to get a drink. There are lots of types of bubbles.. Here is one dictionary definition of bubbles. Bubble is both a noun and a verb.
Beyoncé. Bartimaeus. Bubbles. It is all three together that have captured my imagination of how God works in many "strange and mysterious" ways. It's beautiful, really, to allow our minds to wander, our hearts to be pulled, our imaginations engaged. When I pause, take a breath and open my heart and mind- there is a deep calm and peace. We get to practice faith- to step out in faith. That is what Bartimaeus did. He trusted that he could go to jesus who had stopped as Bartimaeus' pleading. This week trust walks also came to mind. Trust walks were a common activity in youth group when I was a teenager. As one person was blindfolded another guided them on the way.
As I share these three “B’s” of Beyoncé. Bartimaeus and Bubbles, I am going to trust that there may be something that helps you see, helps you believe, leads you on the way, opens your eyes, brings a smile, gives you courage, invites you to pause and blow some bubbles, or maybe it just peaks your curiosity. This journey on the way takes us to many interesting and imaginative places. Come and see.