(Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-29)
Are there days when you feel as if you are bearing the weight and responsibilities of just about everything? Or is it just me?
Sometimes I am overwhelmed, “So many things need to get done – If I don’t do them, who will?” Sometimes my “responsibilities backpack” bulges, pokes me in the back, and stoops my shoulders.
Enter: a kindred soul.
The minute Jesus arrives in Tyre, our kindred soul emerges from the crowd and throws herself at His feet, “Lord, have mercy on me! Help me!”
Her daughter is possessed by a tormenting demon. Demon possession is interesting, but something else niggles at me.
First, she comes alone. Where is her support system? It appears that she shoulders the weight of responsibility for this daughter – solo. If she doesn’t get this done, who will?
Second, she cries out, “Lord, have mercy on me! Help me!” The need she expresses is her need to be released from the weight of her daughter’s demonic possession.
Somewhere along the line her daughter’s illness has become her illness, too. Caring for her daughter has flung our kindred soul into a “new normal” and weighted down her “responsibilities backpack” until its seams are screaming, “Uncle!”
Demonic possession is off-putting to others, so in addition to responsibilities for an illness she cannot control or cure, she lugs weights of isolation, exclusion, and hopelessness. While the other moms are lunching or shopping with friends, she is home – chained to her backpack of responsibility.
“Lord, have mercy on me! Help me!”
Can you relate?
Jesus is her only hope . . . until hope takes a direct hit. Jesus cannot help her because she is an outsider. What?
His response is unexpected. It’s over. Wouldn’t you expect her to shuffle away – head down, shoulders slumped, hope sunk?
Not her. She is one tenacious woman.
Something in Jesus’ “no” encourages her to press on. She wrestles Him in conversation – back and forth, back and forth, deeper and deeper into a dialogue of the heart until time stands still. The air between them is electrified and the crowd fades away. She locks in like a heat-seeking missile, fully engaged and fully invested. She will not let Him go until He blesses her.
At last He replies, “You have answered well— I have healed your little girl. Go on home, for the demon has left her!”
Seriously – where is the refreshment in this encounter? From earth it appears that our kindred soul does all the work. Feel familiar? If I don’t get this done, who will?
But maybe it’s a different picture from heaven.
Could it be that . . .
Jesus’ sole purpose in Tyre that day is to stand in her path, have a conversation, and bless her?
Jesus is the One “getting it done?”
Jesus stands on the path of your today, waiting to do the same?
Receive that picture.
Dialogue with you is His delight.
Tell Him what you need.
Lay down your “responsibilities backpack” and start the conversation, “Lord, have mercy on me! Lord, help me!”
See you next week.
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