If only I can touch his cloak…

My neighbor’s dock is all messy, falling down, broken and weedy. There are actually several messy docks like this in our remarkable beautiful series of canals, and neighbors are complaining on our neighborhood message board. Why don’t I go over there and ask if I can help repair it? It just needs the broken logs pulled up onto the lawn and carried to the street. The water is cool so I can stand in the water and pull the weeds. Why don’t I do that? Rather than yelling about the mess? Just move!

Do you remember (maybe from your long ago past) a story in the Bible about a woman suffering for years from hemorrarages(icky very icky)… She was an outcast and shunned because of the blood. Jesus walked by, and she, cast out as unclean because she was bleeding, sneaked forward and reached her hand out between the legs and feet of people… and she touched the tassel on his cloak. “If only I can touch the tassel on his cloak, I will be healed.” He felt that (faith?). He knows each heart and knows what’s in each heart (”I need help,” our heart whispers). (Matthew 9:18). What if we return to earlier days when mama taught us to pray. I remember one time I was standing in the doorway to Mom’s kitchen (doorway between dining room and kitchen in the Euclid apartment). I remember this vividly. I was complaining mightily about a relative who I felt wronged me… Mom listened, waited for me to catch my breath, and said, “Today is Saturday, you need to get to church and go to Confession.” Oh darn. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. I wanted SUPPORT. “You are right Susie, that woman is mean to you.” Nope. “Get to church.” I plodded up the road. The church was walkable, about 4 blocks. I sat down with the priest. Surely he will take my case. “‘Pray for her,’ he said.” Another “O darn.” What is this, a conspiracy? Yes it is. By the great One, Jesus. He is the One who said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” “Rest in me.” … He conspires to get us close to his heart. So then what?

Pain, anguish, suffering all are valid emotions that we feel, and maybe feel worse now that the television is once again filled with images of ICUs filled with Covid patients in Florida and Texas as opposed to New York and New Jersey who were filled, but now cases are declining. Doctors and Mayors are begging for help… and it seems none is coming except pushes to “open up.” Where do we get our strength? Where do we find peace? We can’t see the healing like it happened when Jesus healed and people jumped up and danced around praising God. Maybe our population is too large and the distance between us means we can’t see the miracles, but the miracles are happening. A priest on EWTN said God is like a magnet and we are like a piece of iron…. He draws us in. If we allow ourselves to get close enough, “Clump!” we are up against him. But we have to be still and listen. Now what? Hosea 11 says, ” ‘My heart is overwhelmed with pity,’ says the Lord.” He says we the people are like lost sheep who don’t have a shepherd. (Matthew 9:32). Can we accept that we have no shepherd? We are milling about, bleating for help… But we don’t get help. In Ezekiel 34, the Lord said, “I will shepherd my sheep.” Maybe that’s it. Settle down, go speak with Jesus, be still. Watch and learn. Help that neighbor… Embrace peace. God bless us. Angels with us.

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