Devotional Reading the Common Daily Lectionary: Mark 5: 21-43
Text: (Jesus) said to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace… (v. 34a)
I’m going to tell you the story of Nancy. Many years ago Nancy was a member of a congregation I served. She was a wife, homemaker and mother of three boys. Over a period of time she began to bruise easily and tire for no apparent reason. Blood tests revealed that she had leukemia.
This was in the early days of bone marrow transplants when you had to find a “matching” donor, preferably a close relative. She was lucky enough to find a “suitable” donor but not a “perfect” match.
The transplant itself went well as it was no more complicated than a blood transfusion. Preparing for the transplant, though, was a life threatening experience as Nancy received toxic levels of chemo and radiation therapies. With a weaken immune system inflection was a constant threat, but the biggest threat was something called “host vs. graft”; the body’s attempt to reject the foreign health-promising material. Understandably Nancy was quite scared. I talked to her many times in the weeks preceding the transplant.
One morning I looked up and saw her standing in the doorway of my church office. She had the most serene look that I had ever seen, almost a glowing countenance. I asked if she was okay. She responded by telling me of something that happened the night before.
“Jesus came to me last night. He told me that I was going to be alright. He didn’t say if I was going to live or die, but that I’d be okay; my family would be okay.” Nancy died about six months after the transplant but until the end, she held on to that “mystical moment.”
I thought of her as I read today’s story. Faith is a funny thing. It is a confidence, a conviction in something that defies human reasoning and even human experience. It is trust in the Other that is deeply personal and inexplicable. It is truly a gift from God.
My prayer for you is that you will experience the mystery of faith that believes in the unseen and gives you the peace that passes all human understanding.
Lord God, pour Your peace upon each one of us and give us the faith for the living of all of our days. Amen.