Crumbs and conversation: Where healing starts

Jesus included everyone in the conversation.

He spoke with a Samaritan woman–who wasn’t part of the Jewish faith in-crowd, being half-Jew and half-Gentile.

He spoke with a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years–also considered unclean by the religious leaders of the time.

He spoke with a Canaanite woman–who would have been part of a group of people who served other gods.

Reading the passage about the Canaanite woman today in Matthew 15, I had to pause and reflect: Do I include others in conversation who are different from me? The younger? The older? The more educated? The less educated? Those of a different race? Those of different socio-economic background?

Do I stick people into boxes and make presumptions about what they do and how they think . . . and even how they believe or will vote?

Or could I bring them into conversation that values their ideas and them?

Jesus was always open to conversation. When he was traveling on the Mediterranean coast, a woman from that area approached him and begged for mercy for healing for her possessed daughter.

Jesus seemingly put her off, and she continued to beg for help from his disciples, who were traveling with him. They asked Jesus to send her away; they did not want to be bothered with her.

He then masterly brings them all into the conversation, which turns into a discussion and lesson about whom is God’s mercy for. The Canaanite woman was willing to settle for crumbs of God’s mercy and healing. She knew crumbs would be enough. And this story followed soon after the disciples had seen not only one but TWO miracles of Jesus’s feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread.

She did not need a loaf of Jesus’s saving grace. She just needed crumbs. Crumbs of grace. Crumbs of mercy. Crumbs of healing power. Crumbs of heaven. And the disciples then learn that only a crumb of faith is needed for healing and for God’s redemption of a person.

So again, I wonder: Do I offer even crumbs? Or do I avert my glance and avoid the conversation . . . or the needy eyes and outstretched hand? Officials tell me not to give to beggars . . . but then I see how Jesus offered himself every single time.

Crumbs and conversation. I think faith starts right there.

Janet McHenry is a speaker and the author of 24 books–six on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you: https://www.janetmchenry.com.

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