I read it somewhere and wrote it down.
What is truer than truth?
The answer: A story.
So let’s begin there.
In the midst of the crowd of people surrounding Jesus, here comes Jairus. In a hurry. Because of who he is, as he approaches the crowd respectfully moves out of his way. Finally standing face to face with Jesus, Jairus begs Jesus to go with him to his home because his twelve year old daughter is dying.
In a culture where children were disposable and women were second class, at best.
Jesus. Please. Come.
As they turn to leave, the crowd follows pressing in around them.
Grand Central Station at rush hour.
Then, she appears.
An older woman.
An older woman who is sick.
An older woman who has been sick for as long as Jairus’ daughter had been alive.
An older woman who is poor because she has been sick for so long.
Out of place and ignoring her place, she weaves her way through the crowd this time with people lurching out of her way so as not to touch her or to be touched by her and therefore be made unclean by her presence and her illness. All she wants to do is to get close enough to Jesus. Not to talk to him or to ask something of him, but simply to touch the edge of his robe.
“If I can just do that.” She thought. “Just that much.”
She finally gets close enough and reaches out and…
You remember the rest of the story.
Somehow in the push and pull of the crowd, Jesus notices.
And stops. And demands to know who touched him.
Having been called out, the woman crawls to Jesus’ feet while Jairus, impatient and desperate, pulls on Jesus’ arm in an effort to keep him moving. Ignoring the desperation and demand of the most respected man in the community, Jesus focuses his attention on the woman. As their conversation ends Jesus says this which is echoed over and over again in slightly different ways throughout the Gospel witness.
“Daughter,” Jesus says…
It turns out this story is not about Jairus and Jesus, but about two daughters.
A forgotten one and one who is the daughter of the most respected person in town.
Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
That touch. That deliberate, intentional, maybe even desperate reaching out.
Saved her life.
That’s the story.
And here is the question.
If the Bible is not just about then, but also about now;
And not just about her, but also about you and me
Then, what is saving your life today?
The last time I looked it seemed there is certainly enough brokenness to go around. And the last I checked, the bleeding had not yet stopped. For some and in some places that bleeding has been going on for a lot longer than twelve years. And, all of that out there that doesn’t even include the brokenness and the disconnection I know and feel in my own life.
I think many of us may have a mistaken notion of salvation.
Of what the Bible means when it speaks about being saved or being made well.
Salvation is not about heaven or hell or about what happens to you after you die.
Salvation is about today.
And what happens today.
About what happens to you today.
And about who you want to be and how you want to be today.
Salvation is about those broken, ugly, hurting, hateful places of our life and world being healed.
I know what that feels like. Do you?
Feeling lost in the ugliness and the hate and the fear and the pressure and pace which permeates our days or overwhelmed by the hurt and the sorrow and the pain which we know and which bends our back and breaks our spirits.
She knew how it felt.
And because of that she pushed her way through the crowd to just touch Jesus.
What about you?
What in you which needs to be healed?
What about us?
What around us needs to be healed?
What is going to save your life today?
At this point in our conversation, this reminder.
Wisdom from the doctor who was our sons’ pediatrician when they were younger.
“Being healed,” he said. “Is often different than being cured.”
Let me try it this way.
In the midst of the ugliness around us, will you stop long enough to see and to drink in the beauty surrounding you? The leaves carpeting the ground. The first or last light of the day. The smile of a child. Will you go through your day expecting/being ready to see something or experience something which will take your breath away? Something which will stand you face to face with mystery and awe and wonder and grace? And then being surprised when it happens. Maybe that moment will be the moment which helps you see your life and your day and those who share it with new and different eyes? An ordinary day suddenly transformed.
When and where is compassion going to break your heart? And disturb your spirit? And, when and where is faith going to nurture the courage and the conviction giving you the vision and the strength to reach out your hand even in the midst of that brokenness and step towards God’s promised tomorrow?
In what ways do you need to reach out and to touch the fringe of Jesus’ robe today?
Whatever that imagery means for you?
Where and how are you going to work your way towards God?
To be reminded, in the midst of the complexity and challenges of your day of that something other. That something else. That something more. Which pulls and pushes life in a new and different and deeper direction?
Most of the time it doesn’t just happen. You have to push your way through the crowd and the crowded expectations of life to get there. Maybe something like this. What if, when you get up tomorrow morning, you said…
“I am going look for the beauty today.” And, then spent the day doing it.
“I am going to intentionally be kind to three people today.” And, then did it.
What if you said…
“I am going to say Thank You 10 times today.”
“I am going to look for God’s presence in the circumstances of today and be able to name those moments at the end of the day.”
“I am going to do something today which adds to peace and which bends that long arc of history in the direction of justice.”
And, then did it.
And then do what you do tomorrow again the day after that.
Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
And the rest of the story…
Jesus eventually does get to Jairus’ house to find everyone crying because they thought Jairus’ daughter had died, but Jesus enters her room takes her by the hand and and tells her to get up which she does.