Mark 1:40-41 (the message)
A leper came to him, begging on his knees, “If you want to, you can cleanse me.”
Deeply moved, Jesus put out his hand, touched him, and said “I want to. Be clean.”
When I read this I thought about my recent all-alone day at the beach. The sky was beautiful. Azure blue with thin, wispy clouds. Being alone simply meant I was still and quiet for longer than usual. Meant that my heart could slowly open and participate in the give and take of honest prayer.
I sat alone with thoughts about my life and then as I observed the people around me I thought how they were probably doing the same. Looking out across the ocean, up into the deep blue and considering. (Something about the ocean, it makes you feel small in the best of ways) Reminds you so beautifully of a Master hand. Life pulsating all around. Life miles out into the depths of darkness where the sun does not reach.
And yet there is no place we can go and He is not there.
The depths, the heights, the shining and the darkest. Always there.
Why must I sit on the sandy shore to remember?
I think I know.
We forget, or maybe never even know, that He wants to be with us. Wants to help us. Wants to heal us. Wants to mend and repair us. He wants us to feel His love and presence so very real yet so often intangible.
Often we are too heart-sick to hear Him. Too infected with pain, regret, disappointment, bitterness, anger, and shame to feel Him.
Toxins accumulate and threaten our well-being. We need treatment.
I sat on the beach thinking about my work as a nurse. Often patients are so sick and exhausted they can no longer participate in the care they need. They can only agree to receive the care we give. Yes, later a time will come for instruction and a regimen to follow, but in the sickest moments they are actually passive and unable to help themselves. They can only agree to let the doctors and nurses do the work of healing. The only thing they can do is not resist.
Sometimes we are heart-sick and our symptoms are raging yet we continue to try to heal ourselves. It may be time to lie still. To make the one choice we can make and that is to receive the care our Healer wants to administer. Like the antibiotics I so often infuse into the veins of the very sick, God’s love and His Word need to circulate into our most septic spaces.
He is our medicine. He is the cure. And sometimes the only thing left to do is stop fighting Him.
Because He does want to heal us. He wants to.
This morning I see those words, how Jesus was “deeply moved.” This leper knew Jesus was capable of healing him. The question was and is simply this…
Am I worth it, Jesus? Am I of enough value that you’d take the time to touch me? I know you can, but do you want to?
The answer was Yes, I want to.
And it’s still His answer today.