Welcome and Healing—Belonging

Amy Curran

Read: Mark 5:24-34

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (v. 34 NIV)

She had been bleeding for 12 years. This was a debilitating issue, as blood was considered unclean in the Jewish faith. For as long as she’d been bleeding, this woman was an outcast from society. Jesus could have kept walking. The woman still would have been healed. But instead, he stopped and called attention to her. Before the entire pressing, hurried crowd, Jesus declared the woman healed! By doing this, Jesus did more than restore her health; he also restored her place in the community. By drawing attention to her healing, Jesus gave this woman a place to belong.

There’s a big room in my community where we have pot­lucks and dance parties, bingo, and prayer. A canvas hangs on the wall with three words painted in large letters: “You Belong Here.” Belonging is the first condition of our community life.

In some ways, we all are like the woman Jesus healed—wounded and bleeding in different ways. Many of us fear that we’re worthy of rejection rather than belonging. To receive belonging as a matter of course is deeply healing to souls wounded by rejection. This is true of folks with disabilities, who are often relegated to the outskirts of any situation. It’s also true of folks with no visible disability. Sometimes sharing the love of Jesus is as simple as looking someone in the eye and telling them, “You belong here.” —Amy Curran

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for letting us belong to you. Help us welcome others.