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Hands in need

July 9, 2007

This is my last month to direct the elementary area at church.  It’s a bittersweet decision.  The church was taking over our lives in an unhealthy way and I think taking a break will help relax the house a bit.  However I find myself sick at my stomach thinking about not being completely involved in that area.  I found a love there that I had no idea I could have.  Every month we would concentrate on a virtue and about 9 out of 10 times those virtues kicked my rear.  This month it’s Contentment.  We’re talking to the kids about the difference between being happy with what we have, instead of feeling like we NEED to have more.  There’s a lot of talk about the differences between want and need.

This has caused my head and heart to do some deep thinking (that’s rare for this shallow gal!)  Maybe it’s because of mum’s cancer…don’t know.  I’m not thinking so much as tangible things that we may or may not want or feel like we need.  I’m thinking more on a spiritual level.  I am in no way a hanky-wavin’, pew-jumper but I do believe in the full gifts of the Spirit.  I don’t think you can live in a 3rd world country and NOT believe and hold on to dear life to that belief.

I’m having a hard time putting into words all the thoughts and ideas that are bouncing around in my head. Bear with me as I quote a Scripture…

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

 45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
      When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

 47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

This woman had a want, but most definitely she had a need.  This desire was so strong that she went above the norm.  Above the accepted behaviour to act in faith.  She needed to touch the Great Physician.  She only touched his clothes and he felt the power leaving him.  Can you imagine how she felt when he asked, “Who touched me”?  I know I would have freaked!  Apparently she felt the same way cause she didn’t answer his question at first.  But in the end not only was she healed, but she was face to face with Jesus and he spoke to her.  I can’t even fathom the aweness of that feeling.

I had an experience once of that desire that supercedes what is acceptable.  I was 11 years old.  We were in Madras, India and lived about a couple of miles from the beach.  We would take the bus since it was so close.  Usually the bus system is used by the lower caste, so needless to say, we always got some looks.  On one occasion, when we got on the bus there was only one seat left and it was next to a very dirty lady with a little girl on her lap.  I sat next to her and smiled.  I may have been the first white girl she had ever seen.  Her eyes were bugging out of her head and she looked like she might scream.  I didn’t want to make it any worse so I just stared straight ahead. Then out of nowhere she grabbed my arm and started rubbing it with all her might.  After every couple of rubs she would look at the bottom of her hand to see if anything came off.  She went after my hair next.  At that age I had long, cornsilk yellow hair.  She was pulling my hair like there was no tomorrow.  Then she would rub her hand over her braid; trying to transfer my color to hers.  There was almost a panicked look to her face.  Like she wanted to get as much of it on her hair before I caught her and smacked her.  In that culture, with me being white, I had every right to reprimand her for her actions. It was absolutely unacceptable behaviour and a few onlookers were shocked and appauled.  She didn’t care…she needed to understand.  She couldn’t help herself.

Even at that young age, I felt like I needed to do something to help her understand.  She didn’t need rebuke.  I only knew a few words of Tamil then, so I took her hand and clasped it in my hand.  I turned it over and over from the top of my hand to the top of her hand and said, “Rumba Nala (Very Good)”.  She smiled so big and we stayed that way until my stop.

That moment has taught me so many things at different times of my life.  At 35, it’s reminding me of the lady who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and the needful desire she had.

Jesus wants to give us the desires of our heart, and he also knows what we need better than we do.  I want a lot of things, but I pray that I will step out in faith when that time arrives when I need to go above the acceptable. 

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7 comments

  1. This is such a touching post. I have tears, visualizing you and that woman on the bus. What a great reminder that God always gives us what we need and what will grow us in faith, even if it’s not what we think we want.


  2. Stumbled over from antique mommy. Powerful and touching.
    God Bless.


  3. Powerful is right…oh my goodness, you were absolutely being Jesus to this girl, and her mother I as well I daresay. Gi, I say this to you again, you need to write a book–you are incredibly talented, funny and insightful. Think about it.

    Now I’m going to get through the rest of my day visualizing that scene. We talk often at our church about being Jesus to others, sorta acting out that letting the light shine rather than hide it under a bushel! Your story is a great example and I may use this at church one day soon, it’s a good one!

    No boundaries, eh? I’m not sure this is good, lol. Hey, it was a blizzard, he was on the street blocks from church, I was on my way there anyway, so I dropped my kids off first, told him to wait there and came back. Rodney. Maybe say a prayer for Rodney today wherever he may be now. xoxoxo Gidget


  4. WOW! What a powerful post, I read it twice, just to let it sink in. You definitely have a gift through your words. You literally are leaving me here in my office thinking… 🙂 I love the story about you on the bus. So touching.
    – Audrey
    Pinks & Blues Girls


  5. What a beautiful story. You recall it like it was yesterday. It’s amazing how people can touch our lives in such profound ways, simply through touch.

    Loving the new blog look, by the way! 🙂

    Great post!

    Jane, P&B GIrls


  6. That was an incredible story. I’m so glad you shared it. It was a beautiful illustration of just one way we all can touch lives and never realize it. Many are put in our daily paths, so that we can share and lift up. God gives us so many opportunities, that we overlook. Thanks for reminding us to keep our eyes open to the opportunities.

    Also…I so understand needing to step away from committments, even if they are church related. I’m in an off period with my involvement and I’m feeling okay and reflective.


  7. Hey Gi! Didn’t you read up top of Pinks & Blues that that thong pic was ME??? I’m terribly insulted now. I think the contest contest is gonna be back on asap…



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