Dec 17, 2013

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MEDITATION: Prayer of the woman of little faith

MEDITATION: Prayer of the woman of little faith

Alice helps with cleaning once a week. She is limitedly literate, lives quietly, observes without demanding much. She does not own a cellphone, and does not believe that she would really like to own one – she has seen how it consumes time and attention, adds complexity to a life that already has enough of its own. She prefers to work and communicate in straight, simple terms. Alice does also smoke, and enjoys silly jokes that bring a bit of lightness to the tedious routine of chores. So if the person who mediates such lightness, is away, she misses it.

On hearing about illness in the family; in fact illness of the guy who tells the playful jokes, she said “Oh. Hmm. We can only pray for him.” And then, on second thoughts: “I have a friend who is very deep into God’s ways… very deep into that. I’ll ask her to pray. She’ll do that for us.”  Dear Alice, who has scant confidence in her own prayer credentials, but cares enough to call in those of her experienced friend. Such sensitive reflection reminds of the woman who, not wanting to impose, simply tried inconspicuously to touch the robe Jesus was wearing, believing that as little as that would bring the cure she needed.

I somehow trust that Alice’s pure heart and quiet simplicity will be recognized, and that her haltingly articulated prayer will be heard, even granted, in the same way as the woman who touched Jesus. Such faith that doubts its own capacity, but believes in the strength coming from being close to God, is perhaps the most sincere.

Carel Anthonissen

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