BY LINDSEY BAYNHAM, LINDA FURTADO, ASHLEY JOHNSON & STEPHON CARLISLE VOID
MEDITATIONS ON HEALING
These meditations on the healing of the Woman with the Issue were written at our 2017 Writers’ Gathering in Nashville. We offer them here as a way for you to help your congregation see the story from multiple vantage points. Consider using one or all of these poetic offerings before the sermon or as a sermon introduction.
BEING THE DISCIPLES
Based on Mark 5:21-43
From the frying pan and into the fire, my mother would always say. How her words ring truer than true in my ears today. I had no clue what it would be like to follow this stranger, but something within me told me I had to go. Even if it felt chaotic or dangerous.
Finally, peace. Deep down, I’m a fisherman, and I have never been more excited to see the sea. The seagulls singing a song as they dip and dive through the sky, tame waves lapping at the edge of the boat and silence in the wake of utter chaos.
As the mist lifts and we begin to see the next shore, I can’t believe the crowd that has gathered. I don’t second-guess it for a minute. They’re here to see, to speak to, to receive healing from Jesus. I’ll give him that, he knew how to draw a crowd. Once I was finally able to hear myself think, I attempted to gather my thoughts. Instinctively, I found myself willing to follow along with no real agenda other than proclaiming that this man was the Son of God. And that meant going everywhere with everyone.
We tethered the boat and stepped out onto what was already crowded land. I wondered what Jesus would do next, how would we get through? Almost immediately, a man approached us and begged Jesus to save his daughter. Okay, well there was our next destination, the house of a leader in the synagogue. But as we turned that way [I should have known], another interruption to the set path. Jesus called them holy interruptions. I called them unplanned headaches.
Jesus asked who touched him. Was he serious?? There had to have been at least 300 people here...for all he knew it was me, but he said, it was different. He felt the power leave him.
How do you respond to that? Just when I thought I knew how to answer him or help him or follow him...he changed it up on me. Turns out a woman ‘fessed up to grabbing his robe. She looked awful, pale, and weak. When she made herself known, Jesus replied, “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed.” If I wasn’t lost before…
We continued on our original path to the leader’s home, and it seemed we were too late. But there, too, Jesus demonstrated power, compassion, and authority. Sometimes, I looked at him in utter amazement.
I didn’t know how long this would last or if I would ever return home, but I knew I would never be the same again.
Inspired by Mark 5: 21
Up, down, and every possible indistinguishable pattern you can think of.
My flow is a shoreline, a crashing wave, a ripple in the tide . . . that is, depending on the company.
There is one who knows and trusts me on his journeys, knowing that I’m not going anywhere, and he can always depend on me to be a force of consistency from point A to point B.
This being flows deeper and wider than any spans of my touch. He, in this vessel floating against my back, carries himself with pride on my waves and blesses me to help spread heaven on earth, one healing, one story, one journey at a time.
Alas, his departure to shore is bittersweet.
Until your next mission . . .
Thank you, Jesus, for again calling upon me, your faithful companion,
I SEE YOU
For Mark 5:21-43
I see you.
I see you, and seeing the tears welling up from your soul births tears in my eyes.
I see you, and I feel your pain.
I see you
fighting to be seen
to not be erased
to be given what you deserve
and now I can continue to fight for the same.
THE RISK TAKER
For Mark 5:21-43
(Stephon Carlisle Void)
For twelve years, I’ve been praying and hoping for a change.
I went from doctor to doctor, and no one can give me answers.
I’m an alien in my own home.
I can’t fellowship with my sisters and brothers.
I’m an outcast because of something beyond my control.
I feel worthless and alone.
Who is that in the middle of the crowd? They say it’s Jesus of Nazareth.
I heard a lot about him. I heard he was sent from God.
Surely he can heal me.
Wait, I can’t go. I’m unclean.
If others see me, I could face uncertain consequences.
What do I have to lose? If I never try, I will never be set free.
I know what I’ll do. I’ll just touch his robe. I know I will be healed.
No one will ever know.
I can’t reach him. There are too many people. I am going to have to crawl.
I’m almost there.
I did it.
His power is amazing!
Oh, no! He noticed that I touched him. I’m done for.
He’s not upset?! Oh, thank you so much! I can’t stop crying
What an amazing man. I’m free!
I was once excluded, but now I’m Included.
I was once was empty, but now I’m whole.
I was once enslaved, but now I’m free
I took a risk and gained everything I ever wanted.