After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us." And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother's only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, "Do not weep." Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, rise!" The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen among us!" and "God has looked favorably on his people!" This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country. Luke 7:1-17
After trauma and loss, it can be hard to face the day with joy. When my mother fell this summer, just days after we arrived for a long awaited time together, it knocked me for a loop. She was initially paralyzed from the neck down, needing folks to do everything for her. She is regaining some movement but very slowly and with a great deal of pain. I found myself wrestling with God and what God was doing to this magnificently faithful woman. And I have no more answers today, but the understanding that despite the worst, God is still doing more.
Jesus healed two different people in two different places in remarkable circumstances. One story is the magnificent faith of the centurion. And the other, the compassion for a mother who has lost her son. We are shown the heart of God in these stories, and God's continuing work in our world. We are invited to rise, to face a new day, trusting that God's love for the centurion and that nameless mother in Nain, is the same love God has for each of us.
Today I ask God to give me the faith of the centurion. May we not wrestled with the whys but trust God for the answers. May we live knowing we are loved and sought after by the one who gave us all life and redeems us each new day.