When we reach out to a God we cannot look in the eyes but so desperately need, courage drops like a lightning bolt quick and fierce. One moment and a quick escape is preferable but not likely.
We cry a prayer in desperation then brush it off as no big deal later when we feel a little more in control of ourselves and less certain of a God who might actually care. But what happens when the only opportunity seems to come when we are out in public, when other people might see?
The street is crowded with people. Noise covers our footsteps. We can hide in the shadows and try to make our way to the person we want to be near without too much notice. Head down, don’t make eye contact, reach out your hand and let your calloused fingertips catch slightly against the fabric of his clothing. It would be easier this way, with no one noticing, without him noticing. It would be easier if we could risk our miracle quietly and silently. The need for a miracle was greater than our desire to hide at home. It was greater than our pride. It was greater than our risk of humiliation.
Turning quickly we realise that we have been caught out. His voice calls out our anonymity, “who touched me?”
When we really reach out to God as the creator and covenant maker – for who he is in all his authority as the eternal King of kings, the terrifying supreme being with all power to shift heaven and earth because he does not belong to this earth – we cannot make a quick escape. He will turn to look at us. He will turn to speak to us. And that is even more frightening than approaching him in the first place. Throw in all the people who make up your community as bystanders now and you might just look crazy if you were caught out.
What is our need for a miracle that is greater than? Some of us are great at bringing other people to Jesus and helping them to get introduced. We are proficient now at summoning courage to be their advocate. We will go to him for them. We might catch up with him throughout the day for a bit of advice or guidance for ourselves – a heart to heart even. But desperation? Our desperation?
Read more about one of the women we joined along the road this Lent.