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Physical activity supported by prayer

From the October 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

A couple of summers ago, I was running on a particularly hot day and suddenly started to feel so overwhelmingly tired that it seemed as though I would pass out. I slowed my pace and quieted my fears in order to listen for ideas from God, divine Mind. 

What came to me was the story of Bartimaeus, which I had been studying in that week’s Bible Lesson from the Christian Science Quarterly. Bartimaeus was a blind beggar, sitting on the side of the road heading out of Jericho. When he heard that Jesus was passing by, he began to call out loudly, asking for mercy. Jesus stopped and asked for him to be called over, and then the Bible says, “And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus” (Mark 10:50). Bartimaeus was healed immediately of his blindness and promptly joined the many others accompanying and following Jesus. 

What stood out to me as I thought of the story was the deeper meaning of Bartimaeus’ casting away his garment or coat. I had recently heard it interpreted as not simply leaving behind an article of clothing, but rather being symbolic of giving up the belief of life in matter, and accepting the power of God, Spirit, as real and able to heal him.

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