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When He (Jesus) entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” Matthew 8:5-6
In this story of the centurion asking Jesus to cure his servant, our focus is typically on the centurion’s faith that Jesus need “only say the word and his servant will be healed.” Without a doubt, the centurion’s faith is noble and inspiring, something we all need to aspire to as we echo these words right before receiving Communion.
However, upon closer inspection, we learn the centurion is noble in other ways too, Despite the fact that his servants must obey his orders, this centurion is compassionate and caring for those under his command. He doesn’t ask: “Cure my servant so he can do more work for me.” He asks Jesus to cure his servant because his servant is “suffering dreadfully.”
For those of us who are parents, supervisors, or managers, we could learn a thing or two about leadership from this man. Although he demands respect and obedience from those under him, he also demands compassion and respect from himself.
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A profound lesson for each of us who have ever held any authority over others. While not a physical mother, I considered myself during my teaching career a spiritual mother to all of my students. Your beautiful reflection here, Claire, has me looking back to bring to light any time I may have been insensitive, impatient or angry toward any of my students, and oh yes, God brought some real incidences to my attention. And like you, I acknowledge these failures to my Loving, Compassionate and Forgiving Father, asking a blessing on any child or young teenager I may have hurt. Thank you again, Claire, for providing me, through this Centurian, with an opportunity to reflect and trust in God’s loving compassion and forgiveness for my sometimes overly authoritarian attitude toward His precious children.
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Oh, Jackie, I’m the queen of “overlay authoritarian!” I sometimes wish my kids were little soldiers and I could just order them about. But, my oh my, the teen years are just emphasizing how far from possible that approach is. So as I stumble my way through, my Loving Father keeps showing me compassion and drawing me back to Him, slowly leading me to a better approach to take.
I am amazed at your insight, Claire, which I did not have at your age! Still praying for it!
You are a blessing! xoxo
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Oh I am a MUCH older mom than you ever were! I think you already had seven kids by the time I had my first! And, I think any and all success I have in parenting is based on your example, Mom, and your prayers praying me through!!!