We’re often told, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease,” meaning, I think, that whoever yells loudest gets the most attention. People use this expression to encourage one another to speak up when they want something, rather than expecting people to read their minds and know what they want or need.In today’s Gospel reading, Bartimaeus, a blind man begging on the side of the road, shouts for help when he hears that Jesus is passing by. “Son of David, have pity on me,” he yells. People try to quiet him, thinking he’s being rude. That only makes Bartimaeus shout even louder. “Son of David, have pity on me,” he screams again. “Call him,” Jesus says. When he hears his name called, Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and runs toward Jesus’ voice — and when he gets there he is healed.I’m not very comfortable calling attention to myself. Aside from an occasional sporting event, I don’t know if I’ve ever shouted for anything in my adult life. It’s not my style. That doesn’t mean that I don’t desire things, and desire them passionately; I just don’t express it that way.When it comes to our spiritual lives, Jesus doesn’t seem to mind if we’re not shy about pursuing all that he has to offer. Picture a blind fellow, running erratically toward a voice. Bartimaeus is reckless in his pursuit of Jesus. What would it look like to shout out for Jesus’ attention? Do we pray louder, squeeze our eyes shut with more intensity, or scream for God’s compassion on the inside?But Jesus interprets this recklessness as something different — faith. “Go your way,” Jesus tells Bartimaeus. “Your faith has saved you.”We all probably want more out of our spiritual lives. I certainly do. The hunt for a more authentic, consistent experience of God is part of what has driven me to write these columns all these years. It’s always been surprising and humbling to know that what I write helps others — but for me this exercise primarily helps me explore and understand my own faith life. Today’s Gospel suggests that if we want more out of our relationship with God, we ought to say it, even shout it. I’m not sure what it would look like to shout out for Jesus’ attention; do we pray louder, squeeze our eyes shut with more intensity, or scream for God’s compassion on the inside?Grease relieves the resistance that comes from metal-on-metal friction. God’s compassion relieves the friction where we scrape against our own limitations. We cannot, spiritually, heal ourselves. We know God is near, so we ought to pursue God’s help, even recklessly to get the relief we want and need.Bill Peatman writes from Napa. He may be reached at [email protected].