I’m all about writing spiritually – journal, memoir, fiction, anything. I have witnessed many times how inviting God into our writing can change lives. Yet what do we write about? How do we get started? Here is the first of many writing prompts to help you get pen to paper and work with the Spirit to lead you along your journey.
A note about writing prompts: Use them as you are led. Perhaps the Spirit wants to take you in a different direction, go ahead! If you have a negative reaction to the prompt – either struggle with it or want to avoid it – that is the Spirit opening a door for you to go through. Just pray, and write!
Before you start to write, ask God to send the Spirit to be with you and help you to not judge anything you write and think. Ask to have your heart and mind open to whatever comes, trusting that you are not alone and you are loved!
The Different Answer
In Jennifer Hill’s Walking with Tension, she brings up how she strongly identified with story of Jesus and Bartimaeus in Mark.
46 Jesus and his followers came into Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a sizable crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, Timaeus’ son, was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!” 48 Many scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him forward.” They called the blind man, “Be encouraged! Get up! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his coat to the side, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.” 52 Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus on the way. (Mark 10:46-52, CEB)
Most theologians and pastors will tell you that when Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “what do you want me to do for you?”, Jesus was asking for a profession of faith. Seems pretty self-explanatory.
But what if you were blind, or had CP, or another life-long issue? What if you were like Bartimaeus, desperately wanting the issue taken from you so you could be normal?
Jennifer Hill shares with us that when she heard this passage as a young girl on the way to seek healing from a modern-day Christian healer, she didn’t hear Jesus asking for a profession of faith. But rather, she heard Jesus putting Bartimaeus on stage, asking him to publicly admit his faults in front of a crowd, publicly draw attention to how he was different than everyone else. Couldn’t Jesus see what Bartimaeus wanted? What Bartimaeus needed? Didn’t the Healer know what this guy, or Jennifer, need healed?
Writing Prompt: Is there a scripture passage that you have understood differently than what someone else said it meant? What did you see/understand? What led you to that understanding? Did it help/hurt you at that time? How could your insight help others?