Sometimes it’s a bug. Sometimes it’s something I ate. It doesn’t happen too often in either of those ways, but there are life moments where I remember feeling sick to my stomach.
And then there are other times where an emotional response makes me feel exactly the same way. When one of my children appears to have been injured while doing some ill-advised skateboard stunt it happens. When I feel so much stress from bad news, festering anger, or (but Christians don’t do that?!) worry, it happens.
And then there’s another “sick to my stomach” connection. When I see or even hear about God’s children being treated as if they don’t matter or as if they are somehow less worthy of care, compassion, and attention, I get angry. I don’t what to paint myself as someone who always responds to what is wrong in the world with anger or as someone who is always seeking to help others and doesn’t enjoy living with the nice things in life.
Nonetheless, injustice makes me angry. It turns my insides into knots and makes me feel sick to my stomach.
Jesus saw a man with a skin disease. This man was thought of a less worthy of care, compassion, and attention by the culture of the time. And Jesus’ insides were tied up in knots and he felt sick to his stomach.
The word translated as “moved with pity” in this week’s reading from Mark 1:40-45, splagchnizomai, (splangkh-nid'-zom-ahee) carries with it a sense of having one’s bowels twisted into knots.
Jesus responded, sick to his stomach, by healing the many with the skin disease.
Jesus could do that kind of stuff.
What makes you sick to your stomach? How do you respond?