In my devotions I was touched by the story in Luke where Jesus stops a funeral procession and raises a single mom’s child from the dead. Raising the widow’s child in Nain has always been a favorite moment of Jesus ministry to me, as the Lord has such deep compassion for His children.
Twice death has reached its icy fingers into her family and wrenched loved ones from her. First, her husband and now her son. For years she had faced an uncertain future. Now she will face life alone with no one to look after her in the autumn of her life. Hopeless…
Except for the fact that Jesus is traveling down the road with His disciples in tow, at the same time a crowd is leaving the town of Nain-a funeral procession. It’s no surprise that when Jesus encounters a shattered woman with a broken heart, He steps in as the Lord of her life. Jesus is isn’t concerned with protocol or etiquette. He isn’t worried about the fact that touching a coffin would render Him unclean in the eyes of the rabbinic law. He is only moved by the tears and desperation of this woman.
The mother had not asked for a miracle or thrown herself at the savior’s feet and begged for the life of her son. She hadn’t demonstrated great faith. In fact, she hadn’t demonstrated any faith at all.
But Jesus inserts Himself into her painful situation and says, “Child, I Say get up.” The boy sits up and is given back to his mother. Jesus performs a miracle without human prompting. It’s a miracle drawn solely from the well of divine compassion.
It causes me to think of the people walking around us who are crushed by life and living without hope, whose paths we might intercept to bring the good news of what Christ can bring to their lives. The rocky marriages, confused children, folks struggling with failure or poor self images, not to mention the numerous people in our world who have the wrong perception of God –assuming He is an angry Deity, rather than a loving Father.
What if we arose every morning and looked beyond our own concerns to study the faces surrounding us, examining the eyes of the people we interact with and alertly discerning the struggles and pain that is crushing them and inserted ourselves into their path. Offering words of friendship and taking the time to listen to what is causing them pain and told them about our God who can do something about it.
In this Holy Week season as we approach the Resurrection I pray we can realize the hope and power that Jesus has made available to us by conquering sin and death and interrupt the pain of others with the tangible love of God!
–By Rev. Dr. William Lewis