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Faith of A Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington
Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

The Faith occurrence in Matthew’s Gospel known as ‘Two Blind Men Healed’ is a return to the Healing Faith Ministry of Jesus.  By Chapter 9 of this Gospel, things are now moving very swiftly in Jesus’ sensibility and his sensitivity of just how broken and in need of healing the People, who have begun in mass to seek his help for the restoration of life, really are.  He has followed Jairus home to see about his deceased daughter; when in this midst, a Woman touched the hem of his garment with the simple faith that this, just this alone, was the healing to her brokeness.  By verse 25 he is leaving Jairus’ home after having resurrected his daughter.  What immediately follows is: “And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”  When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”  And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly charged them, “See that no one knows it.”   But they went away and spread his fame through all that district”.

My heart has been quite heavy concerning what I see as “The Losses of The Church”.  To live to see that those traditions and activities of the community of faith, as you have already seen —can NO LONGER be found. The seeking, the searching, the need to be able to just find, even if for only one more time that meaning of ‘the ekklesia’… the gathered faith community.  Even more so, to study and to train and to work with a hunger and thirst for righteousness/justice in all things… Church.  When my grandniece Jennifer as a little child stayed for some time with me while I was serving as Associate at Salem, Harlem she said in her weariness, “we going to church again today?”  I told her “Yes.  I go to Church EVERY DAY!”  A very great loss in the personal commitment of my life to… Church —to have arrived at the place in 2024 where just going on Sunday is… difficult.

While I have previously written across the years concerning the ‘State of The Church’, I write now to give voice to the things that in my small lifetime, I can see are now Losses to the ‘ekklesia’.  As an experienced Pastor, one who has stood against the ‘forces of history’ that would hold ‘One Whole Half’ of God’s Human Creation, hostage to silence in the Church; I know now that in my ‘rising’, that ‘egeiro’ rising, that ‘take up your pallet and walk’ IMPERATIVE RISE that causes you to know and understand that your life is dependent upon your… rising.  I have this Title brewing: “A View From The Pulpit” that place where ‘eyes have not seen’.

So the order of priority of these “Losses of The Ekklesia” is contingent, also, upon my now risen clarity of ‘who I am’ as an undisputed, undeniable, unashamed Black Woman in America.  Having been “Ordained TWICE”, by two White Bishops of the United Methodist Church in the North Georgia Conference – Deacon by William Cannon in Augusta and Elder by Joel McDavid in Hiawassee —only to have in my receipts a letter stating that ‘they want me to return these EARNED credentials!’  NOW, having reconciled Du Bois’ “Souls of Black Folk”, I Rise — in the Imperative… it is imperative, now, that I —RISE.

Did you ever wonder where the so very simple, and so awesomely powerful refrain comes from that is a cornerstone of the Church of God In Christ?  It is the response that the two Blind Men gave to Jesus’ question “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They said “YES”. Yes.  Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Can’t you hear them— Yes Lord. Yes Lord, Yes.  Yes Lord.  The ultimate affirmation of faith that does not even appear in the consciousness of other Church denominations.

Since man has historically and universally determined that crying jeopardizes manhood, it is sinful, I believe, that ‘One Whole Half’ of God’s Human Creation, holds themselves hostage … in the Church in not haveing come into the biblical meaning of ‘krazontes’— ‘crying aloud’.  This term has the meaning of ‘to croak or cry with a loud and raucous voice’; ‘a war cry’; ‘to demand with cries’; ‘to lament’.  In the Old Testament it is dominant in the Psalms and the Prophets where this crying aloud is to God in times of individual and national emergency.  Proof of Life in the midst of death and destruction; the crying aloud, the moan, the groan— the wailing.  But always, always to God who alone can deliver from the throes of sin and evil.  In the New Testament Paul’s use of ‘krazontes’ is very rare, but best stated in the Romans 8 discourse: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail… inwardly…”. Jesus cried aloud, “Abba..,” in the midst of his ultimate crisis.  IT IS an act of humility.  One that leaves the Church ‘at a loss’ when men take all authority in the very self centered way in which they ‘handle —the Church’.

 In 2013 I experienced the Lincoln Monument as a “Wailing Wall” in America.  This risen seat in the VIP section of the Saturday, August 24th 50th Anniversary March on Washington, hearing and seeing this segment of Americans lay the issues of the ‘demos’ at the feet of Abraham Lincoln.  All While The United States Congress, then AND now, show their ‘godless authority’ in the Nation’s loss —as more and more segments of Americans move to lay their burdens at the feet of Mr. Lincoln.

These two blind men followed Jesus crying aloud— “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”  Jesus said to them “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They gave the most important response in all of the history of Church— They said “Yes Lord.  Yes. Lord.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes Lord.”

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