BY MICHELLE WILLIAMS, GRACE ATTENDER
In the days following my dad’s suicide in 2012, I could barely keep my eyes open without a constant stream of tears flowing out. About 3 nights in, I remember looking up into the starry sky and earnestly asking, “Why did this happen?” In that moment, I actually heard an answer. I knew I had just experienced my first recognizable encounter with God, and I could feel it wash over my soul in an instant.
For a solid 5 years, I insisted that the response I heard to my question that night was that my dad had realized that we needed him more as a guardian angel than here on earth. At first, it made so much sense to me, and believing it temporarily gave me some peace. But over time, I questioned whether I had interpreted the Holy Spirit’s message accurately—even though I knew 100% that something mystical had happened with my soul that night.
Looking back at that night, I think I’m starting to see it more clearly. I was reaching out to touch Jesus’s robe with the faith that He could heal my pain. And maybe, like the woman from the story in Mark 5, I didn’t think it was my place to make a big scene. But then Jesus turned, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples told Him it was too crowded, just forget it, but Jesus insisted on seeing her face. He took the time to stop and acknowledge her even if she didn’t feel worthy of His notice.
On that sad night in 2012, Jesus turned toward me and we locked eyes. What I felt so distinctly in my soul was His gaze. I’m still not totally certain what He said to me that night, but I imagine it might have been something like Follow me. And that’s exactly what I did—I followed Him right into a labyrinth of His love. I’ve spent the last 7 years discovering how deep and wide and full and expansive His love is, and how wonderful it is to share the abundance with others. That encounter changed everything for me.
I’m so grateful that this is our God. Whether you boldly call out to Him or silently reach out to touch the corner of His robe, Jesus insists on seeing you face-to-face. He notices each one of us. He cares for us all, and not one soul is insignificant to Him. Amen!
Questions for Reflection
Study Matthew 18:12-14 and consider the significance of each soul to Jesus.
Consider Peter’s interaction with Jesus in Matthew 14:22-33, which includes a recognition, a challenge, a doubt, a call for help, and amazement. What does this mean to you? Do you relate with any part of the passage?
What do you need to cry out to God about today? Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7