I am again confused about scripture. Sometimes Jesus just said the word and men would rise up from the dead like with Lazarus. Other times, Jesus insisted the person should “stretch out his hand” or “rise up” before being healed. Is the burden on us to take the iniative, make the first move out of our lethargic, dead, depressed, disillusioned selves? If we take the initiative, does God give us life as we overcome, as we heal?

My two remaining sisters recently visited me. Beforehand, I vacilated between trepidation and exhileration in anticipation of their visit. What would it be like to reunite after the passing of our sister Christine this past year? We were always a unit; the “Graham Sisters,” four of us within five years of each other!

I needn’t have been anxious. Our oldest sister, Catherine, took the iniative and made the first move to lift us up. During our many stints of back-porch-lounging, she intentionally set aside a time to read a stash of Christine’s highschool and college letters she had written to her. As Catherine read stories in Chris’ teenage and young adult words, we laughed, we cried, and we remembered. We reminisced, we contemplated, and we mourned.

Sometimes in the very center of debilitating grief, Jesus’ stretched out hand comes to us through another person, a person intimately acquainted with our sorrow. Thank you, Catherine, for being that hand for us!

Towards whom do you need to stretch out a hand?

“But Jesus took hold of her hand and called her: ‘Get up my child.’

Luke 8:58

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