Reflection for February 28 – Karyne Whelan

Today’s Passage from the Bible: Mark 5:21-43

 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.’ So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ He allowed no one to follow him except Peter,  James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha cum’, which means, ‘Little girl, get up!’ And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

 Reflection: Karyne Whelan

If I am to be honest, I am a skeptic when it comes to healing ministry. I actually don’t like admitting this because I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and know Jesus healed many people. I also know people personally who have been healed, including my father. However, I have witnessed some healing ministry that was manipulative and abusive, and in the church I was raised in they didn’t believe the gift of healing was for today. I wanted to believe in the gift of healing. Over the years of my spiritual journey this grappling has remained. So it is interesting that this passage that I randomly chose for the Lent reflection, Mark 5:21-43, focuses on two powerful stories intertwined which sheds light onto the compassionate healing ministry of Jesus.

My goal for the Lent 2024 journey is to meet Jesus in a new and fresh way so that when I arrive at Easter morning, I will feel I know Jesus better than I did going in. And to be changed. I had no idea that ten days into Lent Jesus would bring me to a place where I needed to meet Him in a new and fresh way as my healer. I had to confront my doubts.

Six days ago I had a wee heart scare while teaching Sunday School. Two days ago I found out I may have a blocked artery in my heart and was put on blood pressure meds and baby aspirin, my first time taking medication. I was stunned and am still stunned. Why? I feel I am too young for this possibility. And I know I have been proactive with my health due to a family history of heart disease. My dad died one and a half years ago from heart failure.

Yet here I am face to face with my first health crisis feeling incredible peace. Yes, I am nervous and scared. Yes, I asked God why is He allowing this to happen. “I need a break God,” I cried (I have been a caregiver to both my mom and dad. My mom had dementia and stopped eating so sadly she died two weeks before the pandemic lockdown, and as I mentioned my dad died a year and a half ago). I am exhausted from all the appointments and caregiving duties. Nevertheless, I cannot escape this crisis and must walk through it.

So this passage in Mark is timely. I was drawn to the story of the hemorrhaging woman. I admire her courage and her deep faith that Jesus would heal her from this embarrassing and horrible disease. She faced her fears and the jostling crowds to assert herself to get near to Jesus to just touch his robe. She knew without a doubt she would be healed. She was changed from meeting Jesus. Yet Jesus was also changed from meeting this woman. He felt energy discharging from him. I love that. Maybe it was this energy that propelled and encouraged Him further to heal Jairus’ daughter?

I am inspired to face my fears and assert myself through my doubts and the noise of all the upcoming medical tests to get close to Jesus, touch Him and be changed. To be healed. I need His energy to swaddle me tight. Tears are flowing down my cheeks as I write this reflection. I know Jesus is working in me to meet me in a new and fresh way. I didn’t expect it so soon! Clearly, Jesus wants me to know him as my healer.

I pray for you, my fellow sojourners, that you will encounter Jesus in a new and fresh way this Lenten season as well. I am sorry if this post is too self-reflective. But it is my prayer and intention that my story can encourage you today. I am still on this journey of knowing Jesus better than I did going into Lent. Stay tuned. And just maybe I need to ask Rev. Kate to pray over me for healing!

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