Days 18 & 19
A day’s work:
You are teaching and a man arrives to beg You to come and raise his daughter. “Yes,” You say, and along the way, even as You are pressed by the throng, a woman, full of shame at her condition but also driven by faith, touches the hem of Your robe. You, knowing what has happened, take the time to stop, talk with her, and make her feel seen. You reach the man’s house, put the crowds out to give his girl some quiet, take her dead hand, and bring her back to life. As You leave that place, two blind men follow You, loudly crying out for mercy. Stopping, You talk to the men, touch their eyes, and heal them. As soon as they are gone, a man comes who is possessed by a demon that makes him mute. You banish the demon, and the mute man speaks.
Matthew makes a point of showing these things happening quickly, one after the other. You must have been tired. You could have made it much simpler for yourself. You could have just told the man his daughter was healed and sent him on his way. You could have let that woman fade back into the crowd, anonymous and unseen. You could have waved Your hand over the blind and mute men and healed them before they even approached You.
But that would have been missing the point. That isn’t why You came. You came so a dead girl would open her eyes and find them looking into Yours, her hand in Your own. You came so a desperately lonely woman would see You knew her, would understand You gave her both Your power and Your love. You came so those unseeing men would feel the cool touch of heaven on their infirmity and understand You did, indeed, have mercy for them. You came so a tormented man’s first words would be a conversation with You.
You came to touch, to talk, to see, to listen. You came to be seen and to be known. Not a far-off God healing from a distance, but a God come near. A close God. And when you looked around at all the people with all their suffering, Your heart broke for them. You told Your disciples, “Pray for laborers for this harvest.”
The laborers You long for are those who follow You into a day of being with. A day of seeing, one by one, the ones who need a touch, a word, a listening ear. A day of stopping, talking, hearing, reaching out. This is how the kingdom spreads. God among us, one by one.