Friday, July 22, 2011
Delight and Wonder
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. Mark 5:21-43
Yesterday was warm and we sought refuge by the ocean. The breeze was strong and the water quite cool, so it was really quite pleasant despite dire forecasts. We spend a fair amount of time in the water, the waves were good and the current strong, it was good exercise and completely refreshing. We lingered a long time because it was such a splendid day by the water. On returning home, we took showers outside as we always do. I had quite a surprise when I removed my bathing suit. I had caught a little minnow, without even trying. For all the time I have spent fishing with no luck, now I nonchalantly and completely unaware caught a fish. When I showed it to my Mom she almost fell off the porch laughing. The three of us laughed, caught up in the joy of total surprise and wonder.
Our gospel today speaks of too women being healed by Jesus. One women pushed through the crowd to touch Jesus. This mother was ailing in so many ways for so many years. She had nothing to lose. She was healed and blessed by Jesus as he was on his way to another house, another healing. The little girl was presumed dead, and yet Jesus fought through the assumptions and touched the little girl and made her well. Often God has to push through our obstinance, our crowded ideas of behavior and religion, has to break through our efforts and assumptions to bring us healing and renewal. God always has delight and wonder for us and yet we are often so rigid we are unwilling to embrace it, so afraid that we are scared to accept it. And yet, surprise and wonder are the work of God. Free gifts of love and healing to delight in every day.
Today, I ask God to help me be receptive to all the healing, transformation and wonder God is preparing for me, and for all of us. We can get discouraged, I know I do from time time time, but I ask God to renew in me the delight of a child and the receptivity of youth. May we all be bold in our willingness to be transformed and delighted by God this day.