February 23, 2021

Now Jesus got up and went from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know about it; and yet He could not escape notice. But after hearing about Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician descent. And she repeatedly asked Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered and *said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” And He said to her, “Because of this answer, go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And after going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

-- Mark 7: 24 – 30

Haven’t we all been so tired, exhausted even from working nonstop that we just wanted to “get away” from it all? And then just when you think you have some down time, the phone rings, or an email arrives, or a text from someone desperate for help. They need help and they need it now. They may not be someone with your same set of moral, spiritual, political values and beliefs.

However, we need to keep in mind Jesus’ confrontation by the desperate woman in the story who boldly broke all the unwritten rules and approached Jesus for help with her demon possessed child. Jesus was tired, He needed time away, quiet, rest, prayer. The fact that Jesus took the time to reach out to the Gentile woman shows that He came for the broken, the sick, the outsider, the sinner. Jesus’ interaction with this determined woman, provides an example for us that we need to put ourselves in the “What can I do to help you” frame of mind.

We Christians have been called to be a light to the world, to help those in need as we can. Be it perhaps to be of help to a tired mother who needs a few hours rest from her homeschooling, housework, meal prep, un-ruley children. What can we do to help? The examples we believers present of loving compassion and willingness to give of ourselves may just be what is needed to show a lost tired desperate soul the light of Christianity. Even when we are worn out and think we have no more to give, God sets before us ways to use the crumbs in our life to feed those in need.

-- Carol J. Couch

Are there people we disregard and think are unworthy of our concern? Who are the outsiders in our life?

As you see crumbs or table scraps today, consider who is in need of our care and consider how you might offer them more than leftovers.

Lord Christ, as we go about our daily work and routines, help us to truly see those in our midst who are too often dismissed or disregarded. Grant us the faith to offer abundant grace, mercy and compassion, much more than crumbs in your name. Amen.