Saturday, April 27, 2013
The teenager who battles depression and pushes everyone away and needs someone to love her.
The young man who is homeless, orphaned, and needs a place to stay.
The elderly woman whose life is coming to a close and needs to share.
The committed Christian mother whose family is wayward, sick, and broken.
The drug addict who never recovered from a trip 30 years ago.
I know these people. I have been placed in each of their lives at one point or another, and I have done my best. I have prayed for them and fasted for them. I have listened to them, cooked for them, shared God's love with them to the fullest extent that I could. But in the end I feel like I failed all of them. The teenager is still depressed, the young man is still a mess, the elderly woman died without me making it to her bedside before her passing, the mother's family is still wayward and sick, the drug addict is still wandering aimlessly. And when that happens over and over and over again, it becomes difficult to still believe.
I remember a time when I believed - really expected - that God changed lives. I remember praying that a person would be healed, being fully convinced that it would happen. It is still relatively easy for me to believe that God would physically heal a person's body. When it comes to a person's life, though, "realism" reaches out to suck me in.
"Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well. Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, 'Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.' And instantly the woman was made well." Mt 9:20-22
These people need someone to believe that Jesus can heal them, that they can be better, that it is worth it to fight for them, that there is something that can be done for their situations. I know I certainly need people to believe this about me! Because I am the woman in Mt 9:20-22 who needs to be healed by touching the hem of Jesus' garment. My hardening heart that wants to protect itself, that wants to turn in upon its own well-being - this needs to be healed. My self-centered faithlessness truly worthy of being cast aside - this needs to be healed. And over and over and over again, Jesus heals me. Over and over again Jesus believes in me, fights for me, sends me relief, holds my hand, gives enough grace to make it, draws me to himself, smiles upon me with radiant beams of love that tells me that to him I am worth it.
And so I have to keep fighting for these people and the countless others like them, loving them, praying for them, giving them what God has given me to give, trusting the rest to him, because whether or not "it is worth it," they are worth it. And I really, really want them to know that.
And so are you. I hope you know, whoever you are, that you are worth fighting for, that the cross says that plainly.