Our hearts have been touched by the suffering of the survivors of the earthquake-induced tsunami. The world-wide response has been staggering. Yet we regularly hear the cries for help from around the globe – victims of the ravages of war and disease. Sometimes we extend ourselves, sometimes we don't. However for me, needs closer to home (even within our families and circle of friends) are sometimes harder to see and meet. The closer the need, the more easily blinded I can become.

During a recent trip to Hungary, I visited a church that interrupted their service to recognize, discuss and challenge each other to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of one of their parishioners. What a great example of the "interruption" and "inconvenience" of meeting needs. I had to look at myself. Stopping to recognize and meet needs around me is an all — too – rare occurrence. Am I blind? Do I fear the interruptions that the needy bring?

Jesus allowed himself to be interrupted on his way to attend to the dying daughter of a synagogue leader. As he went ". . . A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. .. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes, because she thought, 'If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.' . . . ..Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around and asked, 'who touched me?' 'You see the people crowding against you' his disciples asked, 'and yet you can ask "Who touched me?" . . . .He (Jesus) said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from you suffering.'" (Mark 5:24 — 34 NIV)

This week, may we be more like Jesus than the disciples. Jesus saw those in need around Him and allowed himself to be interrupted by their need.

". . . and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27b)


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder