Tugging

Luke 8:42-48 

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak,
and immediately her bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said,
“Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

 Awhile back, I was baking in the kitchen, wearing what I call my apron. It’s actually more like a long, flowing, tunic. I’m surprised Tijge doesn’t call me a shepherd when I wear it. Anyway, he was tugging at it in all directions, hiding underneath, repeating over and over again, “I wear Mommy’s dress.” While it was cute, and I wanted to spend time with him, I had to get this dessert baked. And I was working at times with hot things on the stove, so that kind of horseplay could’ve been dangerous.

The scene very quickly brought to mind the story in Luke 8:42-48 of the bleeding woman who was healed after touching Jesus’ cloak. As I continued stirring the contents of my saucepan, I began to entertain the parallels between that story and the one playing out before me. For example, just as that woman needed Jesus, Tijge needed me. She needed physical healing; Tijge needed my time and attention. And just as Jesus had the power to meet the woman’s need, I also had the power to meet Tijge’s. And both seekers recognized and demonstrated faith in that power and faith that they would not be turned away. In the case of the woman, Jesus drew attention to her, but only to commend her faith and display his power, not to condemn her. There, in my kitchen, I was presented with that same choice—to condemn Tijge for wasting my time and being too silly; or to instead take the time out to give him the attention that he craved from me. I confess that I only briefly turned to Tijge, and promised to play with him once I was done with my task. Even so, by offering a soft answer, as opposed to a harsh one, I like to think I offered the same comfort and acceptance to Tijge as Jesus offered to the woman.

 There are two more important parallels I observed here, that may provide encouragement to some of you parents out there. Jesus’ strength left him when he healed the woman’s disease. I think many of us can relate. Our kids demand so much of our time and attention that we begin to feel completely drained of all energy. So, we can take heart in the fact that we’re not alone—that Jesus experienced the same thing. But that’s not the most encouraging part. In the very next verse, we read that a man approached Jesus asking him to heal his daughter. If you’re familiar with the passage, you will recall that—even though the child had already died—Jesus healed her. This, immediately after stating that his strength had left him. Just as Jesus’ strength was replenished for the next need he encountered, we can expect God to replenish our strength to meet the needs of our kids.

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