She took a risk. Desperate for healing, she reached out and touched the hem of His robe. See this miraculous event through the eyes of the woman, in a dramatic retelling that I have written based on Mark 5:25-34.
Pain. Humiliation. Loneliness. Were these what drew me there – into the crowd – to the Teacher? The risk was great, I know. Would someone recognize me and shout, “Unclean!”? Desperation led me to go anyway. Desperation and hope.
Uncontrolled bleeding marked me unclean for twelve years. Twelve long years of suffering, shunned by my community; cast away from my family. According to the law, if I were to even touch another person, I could be charged with defiling them. I had tried everything; the doctors held no cure for me. My options were gone; the money was gone. The bleeding grew worse. And then I heard about Him. Jesus. They said He was healing the sick. They said He was performing miracles. And a miracle is what I needed. I believed that the Healer – the Miracle Worker – could make me well again.
So I took the risk. I entered the crowd. There were so many people pushing and straining toward Jesus, pressing against Him. Some called out, “Master!” Others cried, “Teacher, heal me!” So many people in pain. Could they be as desperate as I? Coming up behind Him in the crowd, I crouched low and buried my face in my cloak. I knew that if I could just touch Him…if I could reach far enough to feel the hem of His robe – just the fringe of his garment – I would be healed. So I stretched out my hand. And then…something indescribable happened. Just as the tips of my fingers touched the edge of His robe, my body felt immediately different. Miraculously, the bleeding stopped. I was healed!
Though the crowds continued to press around Him on every side, the Teacher suddenly stopped and stood still. He turned around, a knowing expression on His face. “Who touched me?” He asked. His closest followers shook their heads in confusion at Jesus’ question, stating what appeared to be obvious: “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”
I was terrified. My Healer knew it was me. That I was the one who reached out in desperate hope and touched the hem of His robe. I shouldn’t have even been there. But then, I could no longer imagine NOT taking the risk; not coming that day; not receiving His healing. Still, I was afraid to have the people look at me because I knew how they had looked at me for the past twelve years. But at that point, I could no longer hide.
Trembling, I approached Jesus and fell at His feet. The eyes of everyone in the crowd stared upon me as I told Jesus the whole truth – why I had touched Him and how I was healed instantly! His eyes, unlike those of the crowd, looked on me (on me!) with compassionate love. “Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.” With these tender words, I knew I had received healing – body and soul – by Jesus’ power, whose grace covered me and made me whole – forgiven and clean! And He called me “daughter” – a child of God and an heir to His kingdom! His words proclaimed to me and to everyone who heard, that my shame and my sin were taken away, replaced by healing and hope in my Jesus – my Healer – my Savior.
Check out Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:42-48
Are you living in loneliness or pain? Perhaps you have never been cast out or called, “unclean,” but you may know the hurt of isolation or the pain of chronic illness. Cry out to Jesus. Reach out your hand in hope to the One who knows your pain and hears your every prayer. Fall at the feet of the One who fills your loneliness with His presence and His perfect peace. Hear the tender words of the One who claims you as His own dear daughter and looks on you with compassionate love.
Though we may not understand the purpose to our struggles or the reason for our pain, and perhaps we wait even today to receive physical healing according to His will, we can TAKE HEART that our Jesus – our Savior – provides us with the ultimate healing. Stained by sin, we are unclean. But our heavenly Healer reaches out in love and covers us with His cleansing grace! We are forgiven, filled with hope and faith! “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”