In the days preceding lockdown, this “Where’s Wally?” puzzle appeared on social media.
In a poignant way it represents how we may all have felt at some point in recent weeks, going from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the business, the appointments, the leisure pursuits, to spending time with fewer people and, for some, not being able to meet those who we may long to see and share time with.
Of course, there are also times when we can feel alone in a crowd. St Luke tells the story of a woman who had suffered from a terrible bleeding for many years (Luke 8 verses 40-48). Her condition meant that she had become an outcast, unable to have contact with friends and family and left to suffer alone, having spent all that she had on doctors who had still been unable to offer her a cure. But as she touched the hem of Jesus’ cloak, she was immediately healed.
When Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” the woman came trembling, fell at his feet and told him the reason she had touched him and how she was immediately healed. Jesus said to the woman, “Daughter. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
At those times when we still feel alone, despite the presence of those around us in whatever way or form, we have that same assurance of Jesus, “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Maybe not a sudden physical healing, but a sense of hope that despite what we may experience Jesus is there for each one of us, as we reach out even just to the hem of his cloak.
Listen to this performance of the Roger Jones arrangement of “Man of Sorrows”:
The reflections here are written by members of our congregation.