Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The dogs of Canaan

Great faith is demonstrated by those having no other options. In Matthew's gospel the Centurion (ch. 8) could have watched his servant die. He could have stopped at worry, cries, and mourning. Instead he turns to Jesus in hope and trust. Peter's family could "accept" his mother-in-law's fate and watch as her fever raged through her body - yet by inviting Jesus into the home a trust is implied and Jesus fulfills expectations.

Jesus always chooses (Mt. 8:3) to heal us and put our broken pieces back together. We must choose to invite him; to petition him to come, touch us and heal us. Extending the invitation is harder than it sounds for we get used to our sick rooms and comfortable with prescriptions that numb- but don't remove the pain. It is easier to stay as we are; "accept our fate" and even invoke the curse called "God's will" to explain our situation. We usually see out-of-options as a dead end.

The Canaanite woman was also out of options. The God she trusted was not open to her people, or so it was thought, yet she believed this God would not desire a life a torment for her daughter. She was out of options for she could not watch her beloved daughter suffer any longer. She was out of options--save one; to risk humiliation, to suffer rejection (and she IS rejected, repeatedly) and to be a pest, while firmly believing in One who could heal IF he chose. Such faith, such determined action which throws every dignity to the wind and risks it all; this is great faith! This is the legacy of the unnamed Canaanite woman.

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