Saturday, August 13, 2011
Even breadcrumbs can make a difference
"But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly."
It is hard for me to read this account of Jesus. I can't recall him, in any other case seeming to put someone off that needed his help. Some may say it was a test of faith for the woman or that there was more to the background of this relationship that we are not aware of.
It's also hard to read this account if you are feeling "crummy". If your bread box is feeling rather empty, and a person feels they only have crumbs left, how do they keep on keeping on? Recently though, in reading my Sacred Space prayer book, I came to a expository question that helped me to better grasp what might be going on here.
"What Jesus is having a light bulb moment here, and suddenly realizes in a very practical way that he is not only called to minister to people from his own race and background - but to all people from all backgrounds."
It's also hard for me to imagine Jesus not being fully aware of being called to minister to everyone. However, I find it more believable that Jesus' perspective needed to be broadened, instead of him speaking to anyone in need in a dismissive manner.
This lesson shows me - that all us, including Jesus, need to be reminded of a need to have and develop a broader vision for misson with and to all humanity.
The perspective I have is limited and tweaked to the experiences that I have had in the past. My point of view is not whole. In fact my perspective is very much like the breadcrumbs that a mentioned in the reading. How often after thinking I have something all worked out, someone can say "Hey, what about trying this?" and their perspective illuminates a whole new way of seeing things.
When their bread crumb and my bread crumb get together, we have a greater chance of gaining fuller perspective and doing something further reaching than if we reserved our bread crumbs for ourselves. When all our bread crumbs come together, all those gifts, abilities, resources, skills and imagination can make a huge difference to the person needing our help.
Alone, we can think that our impact for good isn't very eventful, but even so that should not keep us from sharing what we have. Together, we can make a greater impact and that impact is one that can become the fulfillment of needs that are powered by broadened vision.
God, help me to be willing to see things from a new, larger perspective. Show me how to partner with others who are also willing to help all people with our many breadcrumbs.