Other healing stories come from a request, an act of faithfulness, a seeking out. In the first part of our passage for today we read about a centurion who sends his servant to Jesus. “Just give the word,” the man says, “and I know he’ll be healed.”
But you see unlike in the other healing stories, the widow has not sought out Jesus, like the woman who pushes her way through the crowd to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, or the woman who seeks out Jesus at a dinner party and pours perfume on his feet, or the centurion who sent his servant to find Jesus.
The widow in today’s story, doesn’t seek out Jesus, she doesn’t ask for his help when she encounters him, in what seems to be by accident, all she does when she sees him is cry.
She doesn’t ask for healing, yet at the intersection of great loss, Jesus had compassion on the widow.
Prayer: God help me to see need, in the faces of those on the margins, in places I would rather not look. Open me to your expansive grace that breaks down barriers and includes all. May I be an agent of your compassion today. Amen.