This Sunday’s gospel reading has two healings: The Woman who touches Jesus and Jairus’ Daughter.
On both occasions Jesus shows practical compassion even if one is characterised
by confusion and the other by delay.
A 19th century saying from enslaved African Americans goes: God may
not come when you call him, but he’ll be there right on time!
There’s a lot to ponder in that seemingly contradictory statement, one borne
out of a real experience for how faith can meet adversity yet still get through.
Perhaps we could add a further thought to St Paul’s litany all about love in 1
Corinthians 13 and say: Love doesn’t look at the clock.
That is, love has time for people, makes time, finds time – even willingly ‘wastes’
time in loving others.
These healings in Sunday’s lectionary just remind us yet again that Jesus
chooses to leave people in a better condition than he finds them. In other words, no matter how hard pressed or
time restricted, love finds a way.
A couple of friends of mine took a long train journey down to Devon last week
to visit a sick relative – they hardly knew how appropriate this act of
kindness was. They deliberately and
compassionately made that time to be with someone they loved. Just a minute upon arriving back home they
received the telephone call that their relative has just passed away.
When we make the time, when we stay to listen, when we drive a loved one to Casualty
in the middle of the night, when we visit a relative lost in dementia – that’s
the way ‘God turns up’. Or as those 19th
century African Americans said: God may
not come when you call him, but he’ll be there right on time’.
Love, it does what it can, without looking at the clock.
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