I was just thinking, as you do. I kept thinking about those who feel on the outside of things – for whatever reason. Those who feel passed over. Those who never feel asked to the party. Those who feel it all goes on without them being able to be part of things. Three stories
The woman who hemorrhaged – for twelve years mind you – this was no passing ailment. She had been brought so low that as she reached out for Jesus, through the throng and those stronger than her, the place she was at was on the floor. So low that as she reached out her hand she touched the lowest, furthest part of him. It was all she could do. It didn’t matter. It was enough. Jesus felt her touch. He responded. No one is too low.
The woman at the well. So sick of herself. So afraid of the constant judgement of the predicament she had got into, that she absented herself from life. She went to the well – did the things that were necessary for everyday life – at times when no one else was there. She cut herself off. Avoided everyone who might pass judgement. And Jesus finds her. He finds her in her hiding place. He goes out of his way and outside of the expected timeframe to find her. He talks to her through the looks he gets from his disciples, because he sees the person, even though he is well aware of the life she lives.
The centurion with the sick servant. He is from a different culture – a different understanding. He is not sure how to reach this Jesus. He does not feel on the same page, knows he needs something but cannot quite see how to get over the gulf. He sends out messengers – forerunners. He protects himself by insisting that Jesus doesn’t need to come. He manages to reach out while insisting on a distance. Jesus can work with that. He can take whatever you feel you can give. He will love at whatever point you are at. Jesus took it as a great credit that the centurion had felt able to reach out at all.
The lost, the lonely, the marginalised – either by life’s circumstances or their own behaviour. So many stories about Jesus and his ability to reach all – even the most trembly, crushed and messed up.