Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Touch

While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district. Matthew 9:18-26

Some people love being among a crowd of people and others do not. I am among those who would rather have more personal space than none. I love New York City, love walking in Chinatown, Greenwich Village and all over, but when it comes to making my way through crowds, I get quickly irritated and flustered. People can push and shove without warning. I wasn't always so undone, but when I was carrying my daughters, I found couldn't stand being in crowds anymore. Never have been the same since. One unannounced touch from a stranger and I start coming undone.

Jesus is on his way to help a little girl when he feels a touch in the crowd. A woman who has suffered for so long reaches out and touches his hem, and she is made whole. He stops and tells her how extraordinary her faith is, how she is beloved and forgiven. He calls her daughter, a sign of respect and affection. She is beloved like the little girl of the ruler, the one to whom Jesus is going. She may be a stranger in the crowd but she is no less precious and deserving of healing than the little girl waiting for Jesus' touch in the wealthiest home in the fanciest district in town.

Today I ask God to help me remember that all are deserving of God's love and healing, even those who are pushing and shoving in the crowds of life. May we all have the courage and strength to see the beloved, the daughters and sons of God, in each person we encounter this day.

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