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Touch

Our oldest child is our mini-schnauzer Millie. She’s been through a LOT with us. Pre-kids, she filled a void in our lives we didn’t know existed. She looked after me for 3 months while my wife cared for her mother (who was battling cancer) in Australia . Then she had no choice in making MAJOR adjustments as we welcomed 2 baby boys into our lives – that nearly required puppy Prozac for her twice over… she was already a neurotic dog!

After more medical bills than our 2 boys put together and some months of very weird behavior, she’s been diagnosed with SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome), and will be completely blind in a few weeks at the age of 6. She’s running into walls and stressing out and it’s horrible to watch. She’s also trying to navigate the craziness of our household. It is amazing though, to watch her develop her other senses! She is seeing more without her sight than I often see with 20/20 vision… especially in my faith journey with God.

Week before last I think God was trying to get my attention but I just wasn’t ‘seeing’ it.

I had lunch with a fellow worship leader who unpacked an encounter Jesus had in the New Testament in detail and how it was challenging him. Then I went and worked with a church on the east coast and the pastor spoke out of the same passage. Then when I got home, the bible story I was reading to my 2 year old in his toddler bible before bed just happened to be the same one! It was then that I paused and said ‘HUH’?! I probably should have said ‘DUH’!

This is it: Mark 5:21 – 34

Background:

When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,

Some translations say ‘hem’ because Jesus’ cloak would have been one complete piece of material, so most likely she was crawling on the floor in this crowd to grab a hold of his hem, first she had to work out which feet in a sea of many were his (imagine the smell of all those feet! All those except Jesus’ – His feet were perfect and without smell right? Although, He was human as well as divine. There’s the subject of another blog!) and reach through and touch the hem of his cloak.

because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”

What faith… ‘if I just touch his cloak I will be healed!’ Sure enough:

Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter,

This is the only time Jesus used this loving title in the bible. He reserved it for this old, sickly, outcast woman…

He said to her, “Daughter…your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

PLENTY can be said about this passage and what follows in this encounter… but I want to make it simple. Because it was simple when I finally GOT it. When I finally had eyes to see (sorry Millie) & ears to hear the week before last it was simple:

Jesus invites us to touch Him and invite him into EVERY area of our lives and see His power transform EVERYTHING To invite him into our work, our relationships our struggles…and our story! Sometimes I get too busy doing my own thing and asking Him to bless it that I forget to touch and tap into what He’s doing that’s already blessed. To get down on my hands and knees and reach for the hem of His garment! Max Lucado reminds us that we still can:

Touch my body and ponder my story. We still can, you know. We can still touch the body of Christ. We’d love to touch his physical wounds and feel the flesh of the Nazarene. Yet when we brush up against the church, we do just that. “The church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself ” (Eph. 1:23 NLT).

Christ distributes courage through community; he dissipates doubts through fellowship. He never deposits all knowledge in one person but distributes pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to many. When you interlock your understanding with mine, and we share our discoveries . . . When we mix, mingle, confess, and pray, Christ speaks.

“when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there” (Matt. 18:20).

So, this week, as I watch Millie fine tune the senses she has left, I’m remembering to use all of mine to tune into what God is doing… and yes, maybe even touch Him.

  • In a word! “Nice”

    David Poulton

    March 1, 2012

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