I've Been Thinking / Spirituality

What do you see?

I was listening to the story of Jesus and Jairus. (Mark 5: 21 -42a). The story percolating in my mind the past few days.

How Jairus came to Jesus imploring him to come and help his daughter who was very ill. And Jesus agreed. On their way to Jairus’ home, a woman who had been hemorrhaging blood for twelve long years touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.

Her tortuous journey of unending illness, and treatment, after failing treatment, shadowed her days and nights. Yet, here was a man, she had heard so much about Him. “If I could even touch His garment, I would be well,” she reasoned. And so, she edged closer and closer – and she touched Him. And she knew, right away,  she was better.

Jesus knew too.

Who touched me?

But the disciples were shocked and perturbed by Jesus’ question, “who touched me?” The crowds were pressing in – people jostling, bumping into one another. Picture a crowded subway in rush hour. “How can you know who is touching you???”

Even as Jesus was asking “who touched me,” a courier came to tell Jairus that his daughter had died. Imagine Jairus’ grief, fear and pain. But Jesus says, “do not fear, only believe.” Huh? Did Jairus get was Jesus was saying, did he understand? Still, he followed. 

Jairus comes home

Therefore, travelling on, soon Jairus, Jesus, and Peter, James and John arrived at Jairus’ home. It was crowded there too. People were weeping and wailing. Jesus asked another question, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 

So, they laughed at Jesus. But Jesus sent them away and went inside with Jairus and his wife. Mark says, Jesus took ‘the father and mother’ with Him. Because, this is it – this is their daughter. And she is dead. Imagine the mourning in their hearts, the wild grief bubbling up. Yet, at the same time there is this hope, this crazy hope. 

Talitha cumi

Jesus goes to the girl, takes her hand and says, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” Immediately, she got up! 

Their reaction? “… and they were immediately overcome with amazement.”

What does this all mean, I ponder. What does it mean for you, and for me??? How do we internalize this?

I sit quietly waiting. And, it comes to me. 

What do you see?

What is our perspective, what do we see? We see the concrete, the binary. Our focus often – what is wrong, what is right, what is immediate? What should be? What cannot be? How could God do this, how could He allow that? Why doesn’t He… you fill in the blank?

But Jesus, His vision is beyond what makes sense to us. 

He sees

He sees what we cannot see. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, 
    so are my ways higher than your ways 
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

He is the Inscrutable One, Mysterious, Sovereign, Incomprehensible. His ways are past finding out. 

“O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?”…

Romans 11:33-34 Berean Bible

Question and worship

We can wonder, laugh, mock or question. We can be afraid, or overcome with amazement, praise and worship. Or yes, filled with crushing doubt. Because we have felt all of this, and there is no sense in hiding, no reason to pretend. God is big enough for all our questions. So, we wind our way through twisting valleys, over mountains, through the desert and back to meadows green, and then to the shadows again. 

And, always He is with us. Never, ever does He leave or forsake us, never does He abandon us.

The Word made flesh

Lovingly the Word made flesh, full of grace and truth – He comes. And we hear the still small voice, the whisper of His Word, the gentle encouragement, the strong bracing tonic. What we need for this moment, and then the next.

God, the God of all comfort, Jesus, our Shepherd, the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide. The Triune God in all His fullness, in all His beauty, we are His and He is ours. 

Might this be what we see? 

And from this vantage point, gaze into His lovely face. See the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with our griefs. Can we lift our halting, failing hearts to Him? Entrust all that we are and have to the One who knows the beginning from the end – and who walks with us in this, the in-between?

Might we ask to see what He sees? 

Might we trust even when we cannot see?

Can we declare with the old hymn? – 

“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

  On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
  All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
In Him, my righteousness, alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

  On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
  All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote (1797-1874)



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