Are you willing?

kneeling_in_prayer

It all begins and ends with being willing to do something. It’s the down and dirty catalyst for change. This story begins with a man looking for Jesus, desperate and determined enough to risk all. He was willing to take the first step.

Mark 1-40-41′”A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed.”‘

I imagine the man’s journey to see Jesus. The risky path he took to get close enough to kneel in front of him. The crowd pressing in around Jesus would have stepped back in disgust as he drew near. A wide berth on all sides. This man barely remembers what human touch feels like. Yet, he comes full of faith and hope, not just begging Jesus, but believing Jesus. “if you are willing, you can…” I see the crowd standing as close as they dare to this unclean man, leaning in, no one taking a breath as they watch closely to see what Jesus will do. Jesus slowly reaches out his hand, eyes fixed on this man’s face, compassion brimming…and. he. touched. him. And I hear his voice, maybe a mere whisper. I. am. willing. be healed.
Isn’t this how I approach Jesus? I feel too unclean to come?  I come as a beggar, pleading to Jesus…if you are willing, save me from the pit I stand in. I come as a believer because I know he can, he’s the only one who can. And honestly, he’s the only one willing. Willing to reach out his hand from the cross with compassion in his eyes and touch the brokenness that defines me. And I am healed.

With this healing, I am both changed and challenged. I hear him whisper, are you willing? Willing to do the same? Will I reach out and touch the people in my path longing to be seen, to be known, to be loved, as Jesus does for me?

Dear Father,
Thank you for being willing to do whatever it takes to draw us near. Thank you for being willing to sacrifice your Son because of your great compassion and love for us. We live thankful you extend your hand, your heart from heaven and touch the unclean and by your love we are healed. We are desperate and dirty longing for change and your beautiful Word reminds us to come and ask, with hope and trust. Help us to always be willing to love the “unlovable” in our path with the same tenderness. Because you took the first step toward us, let us take the first step toward others. In the power of your love lies the catalyst for new beginnings. You simply ask if we are willing. Yes, Lord, let it be so! Give me a willing heart! Amen

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