It's 8am and I slept in. It's no secret in our house that my bed is the favorite—roommates take naps in it when I'm gone and sometimes they take naps in it when I'm in it reading or typing or staring. But mornings in my bed are my favorite and they are rare. I told everyone who asked that this was the last week they could have a piece of me. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner filled up, and I hit last night going down hard. I knew it would be like this and I did it on purpose. I'm going to be saying no a lot in the coming weeks and months because saying yes to one thing means saying no to other things. God has built in an upcoming season in which I'll have two projects that will need to take precedence, forcing me to say no, no matter how much I want to say yes.
A friend told me a few weeks ago that there's a sense of celebrity in human-nature—everyone clamoring over everyone else to brush shoulders with someone else, network higher, garner more followers, get more likes, podcast more talks, meet more people, drop more names, and
I just want to stay home and drink tea. _________________________________
Last night in church I felt the spirit go out from me. I sat in the back row, the corner chair, and I felt tiredness creep up and the weariness set in. I felt lost in the crowd, seen and at the same time, unseen by the only One I want to see.
I was reading about the woman with the hemorrhage in the Gospels, she who dragged herself from her home, covered her face so she was unrecognizable, and touched the hem of his robe. "Who touched me?" he asked and his disciples were incredulous, "Who touched you? In this crowd? Who touched you? Seriously?"
"I felt the spirit go out from me," he said. "Who touched me?"
I stop on that and reread it. "I felt the spirit go out from me."
It's easy to feel lost in the crowd, isn't it? Where touch is pedestrian and plain, where being noticed feels impossible and oh so possible all at the same time? Where healing feels a hem of a robe away and holiness is near? Where we're all so desperate to be noticed, to be known, to be heard?
I’ve been part of the crowd recently. I follow them. They follow me. We all run circles around the real One we want to see. We do ministry. We are ministry. We lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. We run in packs, rubbing shoulders with the people who are already in.
We even touch His robe once or twice, or at least touch someone who’s touched His robe.
But He’s not stopping the crowd for us. He’s not questioning His disciples for us. He didn’t feel the power leave Him when our hurried pressing met his woolen dressing.
That was reserved for the one who pressed through all of us just to get to Him.
Last night I felt the spirit go out from me, but not because I am like Jesus and know so acutely the spirit inside of me, but because I am flesh and blood, real and broken, and if I do not run to Him over and over again asking for more, I will feel the lack. There was no time this week, no time to press in, close to him, crowding out the other voices and distractions, to touch the hem of His robe for the healing of my bleeding soul. To take from him the Spirit He freely gives.
But to come close, to touch Him, He knows this and stops everything for that moment. He sees past the crowd and gives freely His spirit.