Sunday, August 17, 2008
The Lost Sheep
"I was sent only for the lost sheep of the house of Israel"...."Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish", and her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15:24;28
Over the past months, especially in the past few weeks, I have been feeling very overwhelmed by the things that have happened in my life. It was hard to get turned away from Lambeth for lack of a full time job, and yet God gave me peace with it and time with my family as I kept my brothers and sisters in constant prayer. When my mother and I were in the accident on July 18Th and walked away unscathed, although the car and animals were totaled, I was grateful if still traumatized. The hassle of replacing a car with the little insurance money, all the wrangles of the motor vehicles bureau were annoying, adding stress but I felt like I was finally making progress and moving forward. When my mother was rushed to the hospital and I went flying down the highway, I think I must have felt like the woman in our Gospel story. When Jesus initially refuses her, she doesn't relent, she is fierce. She gets right back up and in his face. "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table," she answers back to his reasoned and fair refusal of her request. She was a woman on a mission - a mission of love. And love won out, even with the young Savior of the world.
Today, I want to remember all of those lost sheep who have no mother, no daughter, no community, no fierce warriors - no one to champion their healing for them. Many of us have, at times, felt like lost sheep, the excluded and the left behind. We have all felt like the unwanted, the one refused at the door of the healing gate. We have all, if we are honest, given up on the expectation that God will hear us. So today, I want to remember those who have been left out, feel lost, or who have given up. They are in our midst, are in our family, and in our communities. They are us, sometimes. May we hold them in prayer this day with the fierceness of a mother pleading with Jesus for her daughter. Despite his continued rejection, she says, "O no you don't! God says she is loved and worthy of healing!" May her faith, her zeal, her passion be our faith, zeal and passion for those who have lost their way. May we be advocates for those who have lost their way, lost their voice, and lost their trust in the structures and systems that have pushed them away. For all the right reasons, Jesus pushed her away. But love took the day. God's love made all the difference. Transforming love that can even transform the mind and heart of the Savior of the World. May we live this day confident in that love, confident in God's fierce love for each of us lost sheep.