The Journey 81: Transforming the life of sick and suffering
Read: Mark 7:24-30
Key Bible Verse: “And their prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up…..The prayer of righteous man is powerful and effective” [ James 5:15-16]
The Girls who silenced the world for five minutes: This is a another video that is a huge hit on You Tube. It is about a twelve year old Canadian girl, Severn Cullis- Suzuki, who spoke at the United Nations Earth Summit at Rio De Janeiro two decades back, and in the process left the everyone in the summit and the world completely silent and speechless for five minutes. Speaking about the hole in the ozone layer, pollution, the devastation of the forests and extinction of so many species, Severn charged that the adults have no idea how to fix these things, in fact if they can’t fix them, she said that the adults must change their ways. “If you don’t know how to fix it, stop breaking it,” she pleaded. Severn continued by saying that “I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I’m only a child and I don’t have the solutions…but neither do you. I am only a child, but I know we are all part of a family five billion strong; in fact, 30 million species strong, and borders and governments will never change that. Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share. We are afraid to let go of some of our wealth. If child on the streets who has nothing is willing to share – why are we, who have everything, still so greedy?”. She emphatically said that “I am only a child, but I know if all the money spent on war, was spent on finding environmental answers, ending poverty, and finding treaties – what a wonderful place this world would be.” Years have passed since this 12 year old girl raised her voice. We live in a culture where we are taught not to raise ones voice. Yes it is a good etiquette while talking or in an interpersonal relationship setting, but what about when one goes thorough pain, suffering or even injustice?
This week we are meditating on the theme “Transforming the life of the sick and the suffering” based on the Syro Phoenician woman in Mark 7. The context of this passage deals with a race of people who were condemned for their belief, an individual who is condemned and ostracized due to her sex and her race, is in the midst of gentle communication and confrontation with Jesus Christ. As discussed this week any person reading this passage, in the first instance may be astonished and also sometimes dismayed at the queer response that Jesus does to the woman who is desperate and is so helpless because of the sickness of her daughter. But why does Jesus engage the woman in a topics of his ministry and about his understanding of mission?. But as the conversation goes further, we see that Jesus finally commends the woman for her faith. It is then we understand the rationale and logic of Jesus. Here is Jesus allowing the woman, who had no rights or privileges in the society, the freedom to speak and stand for her need– the privilege of arguing and raising her voice, to give a vent and also express her genuine needs. A woman who finally feels is empowered by our Lord to speak up, to raise her voice, to engage in dialogue with the Master with regards to her need. I think if we need to transform the life of the sick and the suffering, Jesus teaches us to empower the people to find their voice, to raise it, and to help them to communicate their feelings and needs. In a time of suppression of ones voice and feeling, what Jesus requires from us is to help other find their voice in the midst of their pain and suffering. That is what transformation is all about.
Have you ever helped another person to find their voice?.
Let us Pray: O Lord we live in a world where there are lots of people who have been stifled of their voice, their dignity. Help us to be a channel so that we help them to find and raise their voice so that it brings healing, change and transformation. Amen