God-Soaked World Bible Guide - Day 29 BONUS TRACK - Reservoir Church
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God-Soaked World Bible Guide – Day 29 BONUS TRACK

April 4, 2017

Monday’s passage was an account from Mark on Jesus’ healing of a 12-year old daughter, and a woman who’s been ill for 12 years and called, “Daughter” by Jesus. I mentioned that it’s one of my favorite Bible stories from childhood because of an association I have with a song written about one of the two stories in the passage. A Reservoir leader wrote me saying that it is also one of her favorite passages, but because of the other story.

And she sent me this poem by the late author Madeleine L’Engle. Enjoy.

“The Irrational Season”

When I pushed through the crowd,

jostled, bumped, elbowed by the curious

who wanted to see what everyone else

was so excited about,

all I could think of was my pain

and that perhaps if I could touch him,

this man who worked miracles,

cured diseases,

even those as foul as mine,

I might find relief.

I was tired from hurting,

exhausted, revolted by my body,

unfit for any man, and yet not let loose

from desire and need.  I wanted to rest,

to sleep without pain or filthiness or torment.

I don’t really know why

I thought he could help me

when all the doctors

with all their knowledge

had left me still drained

and bereft of all that makes

a woman’s life worth living.

Well:  I’d seen him with some children

and his laughter was quick and merry

and reminded me of when I was young and well,

though he looked tired; and he was as old as I am.

Then there was that leper,

but lepers have been cured before—

 

No, it wasn’t the leper,

or the man cured of palsy,

or any of the other stories of miracles,

or at any rate that was the least of it;

I had been promised miracles too often.

I saw him ahead of me in the crowd

and there was something in his glance

and in the way his hand rested briefly

on the matted head of a small boy

who was getting in everybody’s way,

and I knew that if only I could get to him,

not to bother him, you understand,

not to interrupt, or to ask him for anything,

not even his attention,

just to get to him and touch him. . .

 

I didn’t think he’d mind, and he needn’t even know.

I pushed through the crowd

and it seemed that they were deliberately

trying to keep me from him.

I stumbled and fell and someone stepped

on my hand and I cried out

and nobody heard.  I crawled to my feet

and pushed on and at last I was close,

so close I could reach out

and touch with my fingers

the hem of his garment.

 

Have you ever been near

when lightning struck?

I was, once, when I was very small

and a summer storm came without warning

and lightning split the tree

under which I had been playing

and I was flung right across the courtyard.

That’s how it was.

Only this time I was not the child

but the tree

and the lightning filled me.

He asked, “Who touched me?”

and people dragged me away, roughly,

and the men around him were angry at me.

 

“Who touched me?” he asked.

I said, “I did, Lord,”

So that he might have the lightning back

which I had taken from him when I touched

his garment’s hem.

He looked at me and I knew then

that only he and I knew about the lightning.

He was tired and emptied

but he was not angry.

He looked at me

and the lightning returned to him again,

though not from me, and he smiled at me

and I knew that I was healed.

Then the crowd came between us

and he moved on, taking the lightning with him,

perhaps to strike again.