"...Once you've pursued Him through throngs of people to grab hold of the hem of his cloak and He has turned to face you and acknowledged your faith by performing great miracles in your life, the idea of fading back into the crowd and going back to business as usual just no longer appeals."
I'm not one of those people that has undergone a miraculous physical healing.
That's just not my story. But I have had moments of making my way to the Savior, seeking His healing touch.
And I have had one particular moment where He seemed to push through my crowded life to make His way to me. And I haven't been the same since.
When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that I was 10 minutes early for work. Which was odd because I was normally 5 minutes late for work everyday. But I digress.
This was about 3 years ago or so. Life was busy —I was a newlywed in a new city working and going to college. But all of a sudden, I had 10 minutes to spare. (And I didn't want to use that time to be early for work —spare time was a precious commodity.)
There was an old CD in the car somewhere with one of my favorite songs, "How He Loves." So I thought, why not have some Jesus time before work? I love Him, we hadn't spent much time together the past several months, so maybe we could catch up for a few minutes.
The C note rang from my speakers as the song began. I closed my eyes.
“Jesus, I’m sorry it’s been so long…” But then my thoughts were interrupted.
“Stop. It’s okay.”
“Stop. I love you, and I’ve missed you. You don’t need to say anything. Let me speak.”
And so I did.
And He spoke to my heart, as present as if He was there sitting in my passenger seat.
And I could try to explain how Jesus spoke. How His love overwhelmed me and filled the entire space. How the tears began to flow immediately. But all I know is that Jesus was there, closer than my very breath, speaking loving kindness into my soul.
First, He filled me with all the joy I'd experienced in my marriage and reminded me that it was a gift from him. I was so overwhelmed with His love, I could practically feel him saying "Jeana, I love you so much! This is a blessing from me.” His love was like a hurricane, as the song says. I was bent beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
Then He showed me my hurt from the past and present. My anxieties that have left me cynical and paralyzed with fear. Exposing lies I've believed about myself. My tears of joy turned into tears of hurt, like Jesus was lifting up a bandage on a wound I've tried to hide.
"You've been living with a thorn in your side, and it has kept you from truly living. I'm going to remove this, and it will set you free to live a life of joy."
And I wept right there in the parking lot of the shopping center.
All I offered Jesus was 10 minutes. In return, He spoke healing into my heart that has forever changed me.
Sometimes I can't help but think that He was sitting in the passenger seat everyday as I drove to work, waiting patiently for me to just turn my face to Him.
That day turned out to be the beginning.
The beginning of a new way of listening to Jesus and making space for Him to speak.
Of acknowledging hurt that I had buried deep in my heart.
Of trusting and believing that when I reached out my hand to touch the Living God, He would turn my way and heal me. And not only heal, but cry with me through the hurt and everything in between.
It's what led me to take a year of rest —and ultimately to write on this blog.
That day taught me the power of slow and small moments and how God is always waiting to meet us where we are.
It doesn't matter if we're in church, washing dishes in the kitchen, or commuting to work —He is actually, seriously, and legitimately always with us.
And He is longing to speak love over you. Because He sees you and knows you and doesn't want you limping around with this thorn in your side, either.
And really, this walk with Jesus has been like any other friendship. The more time I’ve spent with Him, the more I’ve enjoyed His company. As I’ve learned to sit in His presence, He’s walked me through tears of joy and pain and healing. I’ve learned to discern the sound of His voice, and now I recognize it throughout my days, guiding me. It’s the voice that comforts me as if a hand is intertwined in mine.
I know that sitting and waiting is not comfortable. And I understand the busyness of life, and the mundane moments that feel anything but sacred.
But if you feel that dull ache in your heart, if you need to catch your breath, if you want to be reminded of who you really are, maybe you could try taking a moment to listen.
Mine happened on accident. Yours doesn't have to.
Our time is precious, which is what makes it a precious offering when we lay it at the feet of Jesus.
When we take that time to listen, we allow Him to keep His promises to us, like the ones found in Psalm 23:2-3:
[The Shepherd] makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
(And if finding a moment to rest of cultivating a slower pace is difficult for you, I've written about some ways that have helped me keep my soul nourished in this hurried world here.)
And I get the feeling that He's waiting to speak loving kindness over you each day. From the seat of your car. From the hem of His robe. From His heart to yours.
Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years approached from behind and touched the tassel on His robe, for she said to herself, “If I can just touch His robe, I’ll be made well!”
But Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” He said. “Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that moment.
I so appreciate you being here! I wrote these words for you, and I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
P.S. —you can subscribe to The Slow Artisan here.