1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Psalm 33:12-13, 14-15, 20-21
Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted
with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
A mother’s heart has many ailments, and for some, we can only turn to Jesus for healing. As I write this, my husband and I are preparing to take our son, our youngest child, to a university thousands of miles away from us. While intellectually I know this is a wonderful and exciting step for his life – and ours – I find myself dealing with a deep and wrenching grief in my heart. If I focus on my own woes, I am overwhelmed with sadness at the loss of his daily presence in our lives. However, if I think of our son’s experience, I am delighted for him to have this opportunity, the academic challenges and the whole new world that college will open up for him.
As I stand in Peter's mother-in-law's house, it is calming and challenging to watch this scene. Often these days, I can say nothing in my prayer but carry my heavy heart to Jesus and ask him to heal it. I have no words or insights, only the trust that my open hands and heart will be a place for Jesus to share his peace. I know that he is aware of my life and my struggles and that he will touch me in some way. A desire fills me to ask Jesus to rebuke my fear, my pain, my self-absorbsion. It feels right, even though I resist it. I know that if Jesus heals me, I will be freer to serve him.
But, then something wonderful happens. It's sunset. People start bringing all the sick to him. The house, the area around the house, is filled with people in pain. My attention is drawn from this interior dialogue with myself - about letting Jesus heal me - to the suffering around me. I have so many friends who are struggling. I know so many people who are sick. I read about life in Haiti, where a woman spreads out her biscuit dough in circles that will bake and dry in the sun. The biscuits are made of the food she has available to her - butter, water, salt and dirt. In the Sudan, a reporter writes of refugees who “have been uprooted, beaten, raped and left hungry since violence broke out 18 months ago.” These mothers don’t have the luxury of watching their children go off to college. Instead they wonder if they will have enough food to keep their starving children alive.
Today, I want to move out of this house of watching healing, of inner struggling. I want to be overwhelmed by the compassion of the healer, Jesus. I desire to be drawn to him who loves me and heals my ingratitude. I so want to be available to my children, my husband, my friends - to all those in need.
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