Purposefully Unhurried


A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.

“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
- Luke 8:43–48

I’ve been thinking about this story quite a bit over the past few months.

Lots of my life seems to be spent living purposefully hurried; where I end up dashing from one thing to another, all of which seem important in the moment (and sometimes are!), as I juggle and balance the various commitments of work, family, home, hobbies, and health. Unfortunately, it turns out that that’s a pretty exhausting way to live!

But it means that in my downtime, when thing are a little quieter and I’m looking for ways to rest, I end up living purposelessly unhurried instead - falling into wrongs ways of rest that don’t actually meet my physical, emotional, spiritual or relational needs. That’s quite an exhausting way to live as well!

Jesus models a better way, crafting a rhythm to his life that balances deep rest and refreshment, genuine connection with others, and powerful openness to the Spirit’s leading in a way that enables him to be radically present wherever he is and whoever he’s with.

In other words, Jesus is purposefully unhurried.

In the story above, Jesus is busy. He’s on his way to visit the home of Jairus, a prominent leader in the religious community, whose twelve-year-old daughter lies dying. He’s not just out for an afternoon stroll; he’s got important business to attend to. As he walks, surrounded by a crowd who have gathered to hear his words, he’s approached by a women with such beautiful faith that even just touching the fringe of his robe in hope would see her instantly healed of a twelve-year affliction.

The miracle is incredible. But what’s been playing on my mind recently is how Jesus doesn’t simply move on. Rather than simply continuing on his way, he pauses, taking a moment to call the woman out from the crowd. He doesn’t rush on to the next thing, the next encounter, the next miracle — as important as those are. He is purposefully unhurried as he:

  • Expresses his heart of love and compassion for her, someone whose medical issue would have made her an outcast in the society of the day, by naming her “daughter”. No longer should she live as one who is cut off; instead, she’s welcomed into the family and invited to know belonging.
  • Celebrates her faith and her courage before the gathered crowds. He’s not content to let her hide her light under a bowl (echoing his teaching from just a few verses earlier); instead, she is commended for her act of boldness and her heart of faith, and held up as a model to imitate.
  • Blesses her as she goes, inviting her to live in the good of her healing by walking in peace as she steps forward into all that God has for her in the future. Life has undoubtedly been hard for her, and Jesus doesn’t promise it won’t be hard in the future; instead, this encounter is to shape how she lives knowing peace whatever the future holds.

As someone who wants to follow Jesus, I’m seeking in my own flawed, fragile way, to learn to live more like Him. Reflecting on this encounter has left me asking the question of “how can I be purposefully unhurried in how I’m living?” as I go about my own life, and it’s not an easy one to answer! How do we open ourselves up to the Spirit’s leading the midst of the day-to-day, recognising the difference between a moment to be present and another distraction?

That’s something I’m asking God to help me learn as I keep pondering this encounter.

Perhaps it means saying “no” to some things I’d love to do, in order to say “yes” to others. Perhaps it means rethinking how I rest to make sure that my downtime is actually doing me good. Perhaps it means resisting the urge to pull out my phone when I’m talking to someone, and instead give them my full attention. Perhaps it means thinking more intentionally about the questions I’m asking someone as we chat, shunning the superficial and instead pursuing deep and genuine relationship. Perhaps it means stepping out of the comfort zone of only connecting with my friends when we gather at church, and instead seeking to connect with those who are different to me, those who are on their own, or those from different backgrounds and stages of life.

The invitation to live purposefully unhurried will look different for each of us, especially in our busy and interconnected world, but it’s an invitation to a way of living that at its heart pursues God, rests well, expresses love, celebrates faith and blesses others on their journeys.



Oasis Church Birmingham
Oasis Church Birmingham

Oasis is a community of people from Birmingham and the surrounding area who believe that Jesus changes everything