One Touch

I wrote this a while back, but I felt I should share it again today. If you need hope, I pray you find it in the story of our our Savior and the healing that he brings... 

Weak, frail, tired and alone. These are the words that describe this woman...until she hears about a man named Jesus. We don't know her name, but it's okay because by the time the story is over, Jesus names her "daughter" and brings her the miracle she desperately needs. I love the story of this woman. I love the picture I get in my imagination of this woman, weak beyond belief, crawling in the dirt towards the master, on her hands and knees just wanting to grasp the edge of his robe.

Can you picture it?

She is probably being kicked around by the crowd pressing in towards Jesus. People are yelling and shouting for the Master's attention. Some have probably yelled at her to get out of the way. I see her face covered in dirt, streaked with tears of frustration and hope. 

Can you see her face? 

Feeling her way along the ground not exactly sure where she is in the crowd, she reaches out, grabbing at the edge of robes, trying to find the Master's. Suddenly a warmth fills her belly that feels like ice and fire all together and it spreads through her entire body. She feels heavy but light at the same time. Unable to move she just lays there, unaware of the crowd but completely aware of the Master. Something just happened in her body. She knows it, she feels it, she believes it. She hears the Master's voice.

"Who touched me?" he asks.

The disciples look at the Master completely confused, some smirking at such a question. "What do you mean Master? Do you see the crowd? Everyone is touching you." Peter says.

"This touch was different" the Master says. "I felt the power leave me". He scans the crowd intently, looking for someone.

"It was me, Master," a small, shaky voice says from somewhere in the sea of people.

The crowd begins to part, as she rises from the ground on unsteady legs, and moves forward falling to the ground in front him. She looks up at him, unsure of what he might say or do. The Master kneels down in front of her and looks her in the eyes. Never has she seen eyes so bright, so clear.
"Why did you touch me?" he asks softly. 

Can you hear him asking that question?

Tears streaming down her face, trembling from fear, she tells him her story. She tells him despite the murmurs and gasps of the people around them. She then lowers her head, feeling the shame of the judgement surrounding her. Will he judge her too? More gasps are heard as the Master reaches out, cups her face with his gentle hands, raises it to his, looks her in the eyes and tells her with more kindness and love than she has ever heard in her life,

"Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace, and be free of your suffering."

He helps her stand and smiles at her before turning to the voice of another in desperate need of his healing touch. Oh, that face, those eyes. She would never forget it. She stares after him as the crowd continues on, swallowing him up once again. She came to him desperate to be free of her sickness but she had found so much more. His eyes, his touch, his voice..something in her heart responded to this man, this healer, and she knew, yes she knew that her life had been changed...forever. 

I love this story because, while I don't know what it's like to be afflicted with sickness, I do know what desperation feels like, what it feels like to need healing so much I would crawl on my hands and knees to find it. I can see myself in her place, sharing my story with him afraid of what he might say when he hears the ugly truth of my pain, my darkness. I also feel her joy, when she realizes that he is healing her, and she knows he is accepting her with love and compassion, free of judgement and shame.

Can you feel his acceptance?

 Maybe you are very much in need of physical healing. Maybe you are in need of spiritual or emotional healing. Maybe you need to feel acceptance. Whatever you are facing, I hope this story reminds you, like it does me, that even when we find ourselves in the lowest place of despair and suffering, he is there with us. His hands are gentle, his voice is steady and his eyes are on us, full of love and compassion and hope. We need not fear, for when we reach out to him, he will respond to us, filling every bit of our despair with his unending grace and mercy. 

"Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet, and trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. God in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:33-34)

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