Markâ€™s fifth chapter includes a long stretch of verses, depicting* Jairus pleading for his daughterâ€™s life and an unnamed woman boldly seeking Jesusâ€™ help for her illness. Those ancient words invariably time-travel me to high school. I am suddenly in the balcony of the church I attended until leaving for college. There, alone with others on a long pew, I listened to a sermon.
I cannot tell you the first sermon I heard.
But I can tell you the first sermon I remember.
It was the first sermon that shared words and images that felt like it was only for me. Did I lean forward in the pew? Maybe. Did my heart race or did I hold my breath? Maybe. Nonetheless, I can still sense the shift, the amazement within, as the preacher portrayed an ill womanâ€™s faith. In his description (or his tone of voice, or how he paused, or other inexplicable actions the preacher conjured) I sensed her faith. Her hand reaching. Her desperation for healing. Her hopeful selfishness mingling with humility.
Who among us doesnâ€™t need healing? Continue reading →