Just a Face in the Crowd
FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Prayer of the Day: Almighty and merciful God, we implore you to hear the prayers of your people. Be our strong defense against all harm and danger, that we may live and grow in faith and hope, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
“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?’” Mark 5:30-31.
If you are crowd averse as I am, you can perhaps understand the disciples’ reaction to Jesus’ inquiry. I have stood on many a crowded subway car shoulder to shoulder with people I have never seen before, bumping against them, feeling the heat from their bodies and covering my face to avoid droplets from their coughs and sneezes. Under these circumstances, you don’t smile, speak or even make eye contact with these strangers. You just wait for your stop and, when it finally comes, you get out of that car as fast as you can. You seldom think about or try to imagine that each person in that car has a name, a story and unique reason for travelling with you in the same direction at the same moment in time. Perhaps that is because people placed in such close proximity to so many other people feel pressed, violated and slightly claustrophobic. As a result, they become withdrawn and defensive. Or it may be that such intimate knowledge of so many individuals, each with their own triumphs, tragedies and dreams would simply crush us.
To Jesus, the woman with the ongoing vaginal discharge of blood was no anonymous face in the crowd. Read more