Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15:21-28
I have often been asked why I was a Christian when I had traditional ways to follow, and the negative behavior of some missionaries and such. I have always answered hat my people and my family have been Christian for so many generations that it is who I am. I embraced my faith not as an outsider, but as one who belongs, because of all the faithful people who have come before me. It does not mean that I stop being a Cherokee, but rather it means that my whole being reflects the love that God has given me in Jesus and through my family and people.
The disciples are quite irritated by an alien woman who wants Jesus' attention. She is shouting and they are to shush her. He himself does not answer her at first, and when he does, he tells her he has only come for his people, his tribe and his clan. But she knows different. She knows that God's love is bigger than any one tribe or people. And she has faith that God will give her the healing she needs. Jesus is moved by her faith and persistence. The son of God learned something that day from the Canaanite women. His vision expanded, as did all their hearts. God sent love incarnate into the world for the whole world.
Today I ask God to help us all claim the love that has been sent to our world. May we trust that their is no one and no group outside of love's embrace. May we reach out to others knowing that God's love and activity is including all, with no limits and no barriers..