“At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’”
Mk 5:30 NIV
Many people appear to do things and achieve things without too much effort. But others have to concentrate hard on what they are doing, and such concentration drains energy out of them. Mental and emotional energy can be just as wearying as physical exertion. Sometimes more so. And if a lot of talking is involved – as in teaching – then the person can be left as limp as a wet rag.
When the woman touched the tassle on the corner of Christ’s cloak she was healed. It was instantaneous. And she could breathe to herself, “Mission accomplished”. After years of stress and strain, weakness and weariness, ostracism and awkwardness it was all over. God had healed and saved her – the Aramaic word she would have used is the same. However she did not bargain with the effect her touch would have had on Jesus. He felt power go out of him – even though it was his clothing and not his body she had touched.
There is a price to be paid by those who work with others. You actually give yourself in concern, in mental concentration and in empathy to another person when you reach out into their world and their sense of anxiety and helplessness. You have to try and see their plight from their point of view, and resist the temptation to dole out advice. You have to help them to see their world in other, more mature perspectives. And you have to expend love – even when you can see that they have been at fault. If you engage in helping – be prepared to give.
Lord, give me the strength to love other people.