Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chewing on the Word - Ignored

Matthew 15:23 is an interesting bit of Scripture: "But (Jesus) did not answer her at all."

Ummm.... excuse me Mr. Barth, (and every child in Sunday school), what is the essence of the good news?

"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..."

Jesus loves me and ignores me when my daughter is tormented by a demon. Some will quickly jump to the glorious exclamation at the end of Matthew 15:21-28: "Woman, great is your faith!" and explain that Jesus' ignorance was just a test to see if the woman was truly faithful. 

I remember a conversation with a pastor just after the book Prayer of Jabez came out. 'Every day since I became aware that my son was an alcoholic, I've prayed for God to cure him. All God does is ignore me.'

It is difficult to reconcile a profound need, especially for a child, with God's ignorance.

But maybe this story isn't really about a mother's request for her daughter. Maybe this is a story about how the unclean outsiders are hungry for what is freely offered to the insiders, but ignored by them and even a scrap of God's love and attention is enough to make all things right for those who are truly hungry (and willing to be tenacious). 

The list of needs for God's attention continues to grow. This week I learned a good friend has cancer, a young man with a wife and three young children. I have prayed daily for his cure. I will continue to pray. Like a relentless dog sitting under the table, I will continue to pray and wait for a scrap to be thrown his way. My faith is not great; I'm just hungry.

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