I was born with defective vision.
Growing up, my mother always told me that my blindness was not nobody’s fault and that it was God’s way of testing us. Now, as I narrate my story, I believe so. But the people around me then said otherwise. They always blamed me and my parents for my defective sight. They said that our family committed a grave sin and this was the punishment for it. I felt bad; my parents worse. The doctors tried the best they could, but they said my blindness was progressive and that I would lose my sight very soon. By the age of 8, I was completely blind. My parents were still faithful.
Although I couldn’t see, I always heard my parents pray to God to have mercy on me. Their prayers would drive my doubts away. Every time I heard it, I felt reassured. I knew I would get a miracle. By the age of 20, I took to the streets to beg. We lived in Jericho back then. Every morning, my friends and I would take to the streets and return in the evening. Some days we got lucky, other days we didn’t. A few years had passed and life just went on. I waited and waited, but my miracle never came. I could feel my sight of faith dwindling. Until one day..
There was a buzz in town; a buzz about a miracle worker. Apparently a guy from Nazareth was going around healing the sick and baptising. Those who spoke of Him spoke with such enthusiasm. They described him as authoritative, that there was something about Him that made them hopeful and joyous. In my heart I wished He came to Jericho. God alone knew how dead the town was. It could sure could use some excitement. And then one day it happened..
By the time I got there in the morning, I heard that Jesus was passing that way. Suddenly I felt hopeful, like as if my time had finally arrived. Like my miracle was on its way. I waited all day for Him to arrive. And suddenly towards the evening, I felt the number of people around me increase. There was so much noise that I could barely hear myself think. That was when I realised that I’m lost in the crowd. That I am no one special for him to take notice of. Heck, I’m a blind beggar!
As He drew closer, I could feel the crowd press on. I knew this was my moment. That if I stayed silent, my miracle would just pass me by. So I screamed. I cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The people around me asked me to shut up, like they always did, but I screamed louder. “Jesus, have mercy on me!” and right then, it happened. I saw a light, one I had since when I was younger. It felt warm. He asked what I wanted from Him and I asked for my miracle. You wouldn’t believe if I told you, but in that moment I saw this man. I saw my miracle worker even before I saw my miracle.
My name is Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus. I was blind, but now I can see. I was doubtful, but now I believe. I was without hope, now I give hope. When I was in my darkest hour, I cried out to the only God I could see and in that moment, in that very moment, the light hit me when I believed. I said yes and I could see like I had never seen before!
This is my testimony of faith. I pray that it stirs up faith in you; I pray that you believe before you see.