Friday, August 2, 2013

One Woman's Faith

And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone. Mark 7:24-30

It can be very hard to live as an alien in a culture or place. Being new or an outsider means you are suspect until you prove yourself. Having moved often I know how hard it is to be the outsider in a place. As a Native woman, I am often the outsider in the dominant culture of the church and community. To speak up for one's self or one's children takes courage and passion beyond imagining.

A foreigner and an outsider approached Jesus. She was a gentile, from a different land and culture. At first Jesus refuses her, because he assumes, early in his ministry, that he has come for his people only. But God even teaches the savoir of the world that love does not discriminate. Not one of us is outside of the loving embrace and healing touch of God. Jesus heals her child, and her bravery and persistence resound throughout history. God invites us to let love be our guide today.

Today I ask God to help me be brave and courageous despite the restrictions of place and culture. May we never step back from asking for what we need, and never flinch in the pursuit of healing for others. May we overlook first refusals and outsider treatments and be warriors for God's love in this world today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always thought of Jesus learning from the woman in this story - learning from the depths of a mother's love.
with love, Caroline