On the Fringes…

Fringe not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme.

Charles Swindoll commented that to him the lost art of this century is “meditating”. Well, I am not certain that this qualifies; I do know that for me rereading always makes me rethink.

Synopsis: women’s bible study covering Mark’s gospel; finished the story about Jairus. Jesus responds to do healing, gets sidetracked with another healing. The two main characters of focus are usually the synagogue ruler and the distraught woman grasping at her last hope, but I reread a line that the disciples spoke and that got me to question.

The entire account is in Mark 5:21-43. Jesus has just healed a demon possessed man and verse 20 closes with these words: “And all the people were amazed”. Then the story continues with a large crowd following Jesus to the lake presumably not to hear his teaching, but to see more of the miracles.

Enter Jairus, a ruler with a dying daughter who falls at the feet of Jesus and pleads for him to come and heal her.

Enter our next person, a woman exhausted with an incurable condition who is so burdened that she simply reaches out to touch; not to claim his time as the ruler humbly did, but just touch. 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

Then the second part of the miracle actually occurs at the response of this Savior.

30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’  [this statement generated a new thought for me].

You see, the crowd held many that day, but basically there are several schools: those on the inside (those believers who got it) and those on the outside (physically present, but mentally distant) and maybe a few who wanted to be on the inside, but were still clueless.

I love these examples of undeniable faith! I wish I could say I am like them, but sadly most days I am not…so I ask myself:

Do I as Jairus put aside my position (or lack thereof) and plead to Jesus? Do I ever assume the persona of the woman, ashamed to speak but realize the power within a hand’s grasp? Or am I more like the crowd content to merely “rub shoulders” and appear to be with this healer, but maybe biding time to see more entertainment? Is that what I often do?

Do I go through the motions of praise, worship, prayer, yet stand on the outside, not being absolutely astounded that this Jesus is prayer-on-my-knees4my Savior? Do fall on my knees and plead? Do I kneel in the dust hoping to simply touch knowing the power within my Savior that exists if I but let him touch me?

Do I simply reach or do I reach with intent? Lord I want more. I don’t want to be on the fringe, the outside, the peripheral, just taking it in. I want what this man and woman knew – simply to not just know, but to be confirmed in my heart. Wow, I want to know that I can believe the Jesus I believe in.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Amen.

Blessings as you reach out this Lenten season, not just touching the Savior, but letting him touch your heart. Doneta

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