Week 3 – Dag 2/Day 2: Diens en luister/Serving and listening

Mechthild van Magdeburg (ongeveer 1212- ongeveer1282) het gesê …

Barmhartigheid beteken om jou vriend en jou vyand se nood op dieselfde vlak te beoordeel en om albei op dieselfde manier te help. Dit vereis dat jy die vreemdeling, die gebrokene, die gevangene sal soek en vind, hom sal troos en jou hulp vir hom sal aanbied. Daarin lê die heilige deernis van God wat vir die duiwel groot angs veroorsaak.

 

Markus 5:33,35,36: Sy het toe voor Hom op haar knieë kom val en vir Hom haar hele geskiedenis vertel. Terwyl Jesus nog met die vrou praat, kom daar mense van die raadslid van die sinagoge se huis af en sê vir hom: “U dogter het gesterwe. Waarom val u nog ons Leermeester lastig?” Jesus het egter met die een oor gehoor wat daar gesê word, en Hy sê toe vir die raadslid van die sinagoge: “Moet jou nie ontstel nie. Bly maar net glo!”

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer skryf dat ons gereed moet wees om deur God onderbreek te word. God sal telkens ons pad kruis. Hy sal ons planne kanselleer deur mense met aansprake en versoeke op ons pad te stuur. Ons mag hulle verbygaan, maar as ons dit doen, loop ons verby die kruis wat ons pad deurkruis en ons die pad wys om nie ons wil nie, maar God se wil te doen.

Siniese lesers sou die vrou kon beskuldig dat sy die dood van die jong meisie veroorsaak het. Sy het immers Jesus se reis na die siek kind onderbreek. As sy nie so selfsugtig was deur te doen wat sy gedoen het nie, sou Jesus dalk betyds by die kind kon uitkom. Dis egter bietjie sinies. Dis ook nie die bedoeling van die verhaal nie.

Jesus is in hierdie verhaal die toonbeeld van iemand wat bereid is om onderbreek te word. Daar is ’n dringende saak wat aandag moet kry, naamlik die siekte van ’n kind. Tog maak Hy tyd om te luister na die hele geskiedenis van die vrou met haar chroniese siekte: ‘Sy het toe voor Hom op haar knieë kom val en vir Hom haar hele geskiedenis vertel.’

Die vrou in hierdie verhaal kon weens die aard van haar siekte nie openlik vra dat Jesus haar moes help nie. Haar lewe is vol vrees. Wie sou tyd aan haar bestee? Jesus is haastig – so het sy dalk gedink. En toe gee Jesus aan haar die geleentheid om haar verhaal te vertel. Ek kan my nie voorstel hoe lank hierdie verhaal vir Jaïrus moes voel nie.

God onderbreek ons lewensreis dikwels deur mense wat op ons pad beland. Die medelye van Christus in hierdie verhaal daag ons uit om ons oë en ore mooi oop te maak. Elke mens het ’n verhaal. Soms is daar suksesverhale, maar as ons eerlik is sal ons moet erken dat daar meer verhale stryd, nederlae, vrees, na-die-kant-toe-geskuif-word en gevoelens van waardeloosheid bestaan.

Dis hier waar die Here sy mense, sy kerk, roep om mooi te luister, tyd te maak, stil te staan, dringende sake eers te laat staan, sodat stukkende mense gehoor kan word.

 

Vader, leer ons mooi luister en kyk sodat ons die onderbrekings op ons lewensreis as geleenthede sal sien, in Jesus se Naam. Amen.

 

Mechthild of Magdeburg (ca. 1212-ca. 1282) said…

Compassion means seeing your friend and your enemy in equal need, and helping both equally. It demands that you seek and find the stranger, the broken, the prisoner, and comfort him and offer him your help. Herein lies the holy compassion of God that causes the devil much distress.

 

Mark 5:33,35,36: Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’ Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that we must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God, who will thwart our plans and frustrate our ways time and again, even daily, by sending people across our path with their demands and requests. If don’t have to attend to it, but if we don’t, we walked past the cross crossing which shows us the way to do do God’s will, not our own.

Cynical readers could accuse the woman of having caused the death of the young girl. She, after all, interrupted Jesus’ journey on the way to the sick child. If she were not so selfish, Jesus could possibly have arrived at the child in time. However, it is a bit cynical. This is not the intention of the story.

Jesus epitomizes in this story someone who is willing to be interrupted. There is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed, namely the illness of a child. Yet he took time to listen to the entire history of the woman with her chronic illness, ‘Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.’

The woman could not openly ask Jesus for his help because of the nature of her illness. Her life is full of fear. Who would take time to listen to her? Jesus was in a hurry – so she may have thought. Yet, Jesus gave her the opportunity to tell her story. I cannot imagine how long this story would have felt for Jairus.

God often interrupts our journey through people. The compassion of Christ in this story challenges us to open our eyes and ears. Everyone has a story. Sometimes there are success stories, but if we are honest we have to admit that there are more stories of struggle, defeats, fear, being pushed to the margins of society, excluded from groups, as well as feelings of worthlessness. There are many stories of unspeakable pain.

This is where the Lord’s people, his church, are called to take time to listen, to stand still, to let urgent matters wait so that broken people can be heard.

 

Lord, help us to listen well, to see well, so that the interruptions on the journeys of our lives become opportunities, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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