Healing Awareness

By Roy Stetler
June 30, 2024

The crowd surges forward with Jesus and the synagogue leader at the front.  The crowd follows to see whether a 12-year-old girl will be healed.  In a distressed world, they long for good news.  Will Jesus heal her?   Yet the older child is not the only person in need.  An older woman is threading through the crowd, reaching forward, “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be well.”  She has suffered bleeding and no one has helped her, for 12 years, as the young girl has lived.  She hopes he will not notice her touch.  Her touch will make him unclean.  And he is headed to a synagogue leader’s home, and child.  She makes her move.  Perhaps it is a lunge between several people—or maybe there was unexpected desperation in her grasp.

Jesus does notice her touch.  He is alert and aware of what is happening around him—even in a surging crowd.  And Jesus’ response reminds us that relationship has the power to transform, not only the body, but the soul.  She is healed by her touch.  But her spirit, her soul is healed by Jesus’ response.  Jesus stops.  “Who touched my clothes?  Who touched me?”  He asks not in anger, but with compassion.

With fear and trembling she bows before him, tells him everything.  “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Then the news comes, Jairus’ daughter has died.  It’s too late.  Jesus looks at Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe.”  He takes four disciples and goes with Jairus to his home.  There is loud grieving, loss, sadness.  “Why the commotion, the child is not dead but sleeping.”  They laugh at him but he makes them leave.  He takes the girl by the hand, and says, “Little girl, get up!”  She gets up and walks around.  “Give her something to eat.”

Jesus is paying attention.  He practices compassion.  Concerned for those around him, he takes care of himself so that he can share the abundance which he has come to know.

Following Jesus, we can do likewise.  We walk with compassion not to feel better about ourselves, but to live in the love of Christ and practice grace.

We take care of ourselves so that we can be alert and aware of needs—to be a healing presence.  We take care of others, as we take care of ourselves, and allow others to care for us.

Time apart, in prayer; time outside, in creation; time in community, with neighbors–these replenish our energy to care, to befriend, to work together, to be–in love.

This week as we celebrate Independence Day, may we take time to be refreshed, to notice the people around us and their needs, to celebrate creation, and moments to share.   Healing Awareness.