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Prayer for the Week 29th June 2024

Prayer for the Week 29th June 2024
June 29, 2024 Bronwen

Weekly Reflection MWiB June 29th 2024

Mark 5: 21-43 Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman   – vs 36 ‘ Don’t be afraid; just believe’.

So here we are at the end of our five weeks of reflections in June and as I mentioned on week 1, how appropriate for me, as a nurse, that we opened with a healing and here we are with two healings in one day for our final reading. In this passage Jesus has first healed a woman who has bled for 12 years and was delayed from attending Jairus’ daughter. Because of this the people told Jairus not to bother him as she was already dead – Jesus’ response is ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe’ , and he then goes on to heal the girl. In the earlier verses he assures the woman that ‘her faith has made her well’ and while these miraculous healings are a topic for debate in itself I think it’s important to remember that not all healing is physical – people with great faith will die as we all will eventually – but Jesus reassures us not to be afraid and to have faith. During my nursing career I have witnessed many people die – and for many they had faith, they believed, but at the end were at peace.

On our trip to Hiroshima the illness and great faith of another young girl was central to our visit to the memorial peace garden. Sadoka Sasaki was two years old and only two kilometres away from where the bomb dropped in Hiroshima. Many of her neighbours died but she apparently was uninjured, however some 10 years later Sadoka became very tired and ill, this worsened until eventually she was admitted to the  Red Cross hospital where she was diagnosed with  leukaemia – known as the A-Bomb disease with a very low survival rate – she was, not surprisingly, very scared. During her stay in hospital her best friend Chizuko came to visit and brought a gift of origami paper – she told her of a legend regarding the crane -the sacred bird in Japan which is believed to live for 100 years, it was said if someone folds 1000 paper cranes their wish would come true. Sadoka committed herself to fold one thousand cranes and prayed for her recovery – even during times of great pain she would continue folding using any scrap of paper she could find often using the paper wrapping from her medication – in the 8 months she was hospitalised she became known to all patients and staff continuing to raise the spirits of those around her with her cheerful and optimistic manner – even though she knew by then she would not survive. She died in October 1955 and is believed to have made over 1400 paper cranes – some of which are still on display in the Peace museum.   After her death her school friends decided to form a club to honour her and students from her school, other schools in the area and nine other countries raised money to build a statue to recognise the many children who lost their lives because of the bomb. Children continued making the paper cranes, and still do, in her memory.  In May 1958 almost three years after she died enough money was collected to build the monument which is now in Hiroshima peace park close to the spot where the atomic bomb was dropped  – that act of folding cranes turned into a national and then an international children’s peace movement – children from all over the world still send folded paper cranes to be placed in cabinets beneath Saduka’s statue and in doing so they  help to fulfil the wish engraved on the base of the statue –  ‘This is our cry,  this is our prayer, peace in the world’

Children’s world peace monument with donated cranes from all over the world displayed below and the case holding some of the original cranes made by Sadoka


For my prayer this week  I have turned to the NHS  – so relevant when we think of healing and so appropriate as we head towards this great institutions 76th birthday next week.

God of healing and compassion, we thank you for the establishment of the National Health Service and for the dedication of all who work in it: give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who care for the sick and ill: wisdom to those engaged in medical research and give faith and belief to all who suffer.  Give strength through your spirit that many will be restored to health and strength, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

It has been a pleasure to revisit my trip to Japan during the last months reflections and I hope all have enjoyed the glances into this amazing country but I would be totally remiss not to give credit to my daughter, Natasha, for all  photographs posted – she really does have the knack of acquiring the most amazing pictures to reinforce our memories.

Philippa Hill, Trustee: Bolton & Rochdale and Lancashire Districts