Summary: Can God get his priorities wrong? Is it just us? or are they actually wrong...
Mission Interrupted (or was it?): Breaking Boundaries
Luke 8:40-56 Mar 15, 2009 Lent #3
I danced the day my daughter was born. It was twelve years ago; we had tried for many years, many times we had thought my wife was pregnant but each time something went wrong, and we were childless. Others began to talk, or snicker, or look upon us with pity. But all that changed, the pregnancy went well, the day came, and from outside I heard that first soft cry, saw the smile on the midwife’s face, and heard the words, “it’s a girl!” I jumped for joy, shouted praise and thanks to God, danced with my friends, and then held my baby girl close through her whole first night of life outside the womb.
I cried the day I realized I was really sick. It was twelve years ago. I had been menstruating, but it should have stopped long ago. It didn’t, and it still hasn’t. For twelve long years I have suffered. You don’t know how I have suffered. Yes, I’ve suffered physically – I have been tired for twelve years, my skin is pale and my eyes are washed out, I feel weakness and breathlessness, I’m often dizzy and lightheaded. But far more I’ve suffered – my husband divorced me, as I couldn’t touch him, couldn’t care for him, couldn’t love him. He left me with a sizable amount of money, which I’ve now completely wasted seeking doctor after doctor in the hopes that one might have a cure. But there is nothing, and still I am sick. But my deepest suffering is in my isolation. I cannot participate in my community, because I am unclean. A woman who is bleeding may not touch, may not interact, may not participate in any way, lest others also become unclean. So I have been on the edges. The margins. Poor, alone, outcast. Yes, I have suffered more than you can possible imagine.
A happy home. Many times of joy and celebration, feasts with friends, a deep sense of God with us. In time my responsibilities grew, as a learned man I gradually accepted more and more responsibility in our town. I am not a Rabbi, not a Pharisee, I am the main elder in our Synagogue, responsible to arrange our services and ensure faithful obedience to our law of ritual purity. I am well known, and well respected, praise God. We have always been blessed, and now that we have our child, though only one, our family is whole.
A miserable life. That’s what I would call it, miserable. Begging for food, from a distance. Cut off from all the life, all the joy, all the laughter, all the things that actually make life worth living. If only I had the courage, I could end my suffering, but I can’t, so I pray for death to come. My life is broken.
She is twelve now. Becoming a woman, entering the prime of her life. What a celebration on her twelfth birthday, as she became a woman! Again I danced, this time with my daughter, a beautiful woman with a life of promise ahead of her. Her mother and I are considering several fine young men for her to marry, and there are many offers. All ahead is life and joy and hope.