Racial equity. LGBTQI rights. Immigration reform. Economic justice. Political campaigns. So many worthwhile causes. So many appeals for support. We want to help. We want to do our parts. But it's overwhelming.
I wonder if it's how Jesus felt facing the 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes, or making his way through crowds as they grabbed at his clothes. How'd he deal with it? How might his approach inform what we're called to today? Two observations:
First, in feeding the 5,000, Jesus basically blesses the idea, then delegates: "Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds." Jesus' work is essentially knowing the truth of God's plenitude and doing what he's guided to do. He doesn't do it all. Neither can any of us. Setting boundaries is how we'll keep from getting overwhelmed by the scale of the effort. It's how we'll build the stamina needed to complete the sacred work of transformation.
Second, out of all the people pressing in on him, the one healed is the woman who touches the hem. Interestingly, Jesus doesn't consciously choose to perform this miracle. Instead, the healing is synergistic, arising out of her intent and Jesus' presence. He becomes aware of her intuitively, as healing is taking place. Like Jesus, we're called to fully participate in the world, even its chaos. And we're called to be of the Spirit, heeding the synergistic, intuitive flashes that align us with the source of all good. To be in the world but not of it, is how we are led to do and be where we're needed most.