Church of England Diocese of Guildford Dunsfold


10 Mar 2021, 5 p.m.

The mourners didn’t cause him to stop. Nor did the large crowd, or even the body of the dead man on the stretcher. It was the woman – the look on her face and the redness in her eyes. He went into action. ‘Don’t cry’ he told the mother. ‘Arise!’ he told the boy.

His plan was to have a quick nap and so he leaned against the wall of the well. But he was soon interrupted. She came trudging towards him with a heavy stone jar on her shoulder. Her face told her story. The wounds of five broken relationships had left her heart torn. He saw her hopelessness and yet spoke words of hope to her, ‘There will come a day ….’

By the time that she had got to Jesus, she had nothing left. The doctors had taken her last penny. The bleeding had robbed her of her last drop of energy. But still she shoved her way through the crowd and when her hand touched his garment a remarkable healing took place. It didn’t bother Jesus that the woman came to him as a last resort. To him, it only mattered that she came. Grace in action.
Three women. One bereaved. One rejected. One dying. All alone.

The only heads that turned as they walked down the street were shaking heads of disapproval. Had Jesus ignored them, who would have noticed? By the world’s standards these three could give nothing in return.
There are many who are shunned by the ‘normal world’. Society doesn’t know what to do with them. And sometimes the Church doesn’t know what to do with them either. But Jesus would find a place for them. He would find a place for them because he cares. And he cares unconditionally.

No one would have blamed Jesus for ignoring the three women. To have turned his head would have been much easier, less controversial, and not nearly so risky. But God, who made them, couldn’t do that.
And I, who follows him, shouldn’t either. ‘Lord help me to be more like Jesus’.

Archdeacon Martin