love today’s scripture readings. They present encouraging, challenging
and powerful images of faith and trust. Paul exhorts us to run with
perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
Paul cries. And in the Gospel of Mark, a woman who has been sick for
twelve years, who has exhausted her resources on cures, simply touches Jesus’
cloak and is cured. Jesus tells her, your faith has healed you.
The synagogue ruler falls at the feet of Jesus, begging him to come touch
his daughter so that she may be healed. On the way to the man’s house,
word comes that the daughter is dead. Jesus tells the father, do not
be afraid, just believe. And Jesus raises the girl from the dead.
What incredible and inspiring images. And how simple. Just believe.
Just a little faith and trust. The power of a little faith is incredible.
It seems so simple. But it isn’t. In the last few weeks, the
images from the tsunami that struck Asia have been constantly before us.
The death and devastation is mind boggling. It has shaken many people’s
faith. A person asked me, how can you worship a God who allows such
horror? How can God be so cruel? I honestly did not have an answer.
I don’t claim to understand why some things happen. Why some people
live and some people die. I do have the image of Jesus healing the
woman and raising the child. These are not images of a mean or hateful
God. These are images of a loving, caring God. I don’t understand
the tsunami. I don’t think God expects me to understand. God
does tell me to believe. To trust that God is good and loves me.
To have faith. Like I said, it seems simple, but it isn’t.
This lesson hit home with me recently in an incident with my youngest son.
I was fixing his favorite dinner. Spaghetti and meat balls. He
came into the kitchen to say that he was starving. I told him dinner
would be ready soon and he would have to wait. He wailed that he couldn’t
wait, he was starving. I got out a box of crackers and told him he
could have a few crackers to hold him over to dinner. He started eating
crackers like it was his last meal. After a few minutes I took the
box of crackers away from him and told him it would spoil his dinner.
You would have thought I stole his favorite toy. He cried that he was
starving. I told him I was fixing his favorite meal, spaghetti and
meat balls. He didn’t believe me. I said to him, trust me, the
spaghetti is coming. He didn’t believe me. Exasperated, I said
to him, I am your father, I do not lie to you. He still didn’t believe
me. I took him to the stove and showed him the pots. He still
didn’t believe me. I picked him up so he could look into the pots and
see what was cooking. Grudgingly, he finally agreed that, yes, I was
cooking his favorite dinner and off he went smiling happily.
Good grief! My son’s lack of trust made me a little angry
at first. However, I had to laugh as I realized how like my son I am.
God says to me, I love you and I want what’s best for you. All I have
to do is trust and believe. And yet how easily my faith is shaken.
How easy it is to stray from the course marked for me. How easy to
take my eyes off of Jesus. My prayer today is that when God says to
me, trust me, the spaghetti is coming, I will have faith and believe.