I had never thought of, researched to learn, nor had someone explain to me what an issue of blood could mean for the one living it; Until this morning.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 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. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." Mark 5:24b-34 NIV
She had been ceremonially unclean for twelve years (Pastor Isaac did not reference Leviticus 12:2, but it came to mind). For twelve years she had not been permitted to be in close contact with anyone- if any physical touch at all (my primary love language is physical touch, so the thought of that is saddening deep within).
Here she is. In His presence. Pressing in. Just one touch. One touch, she was healed. He knew, He called her and she responded. He looked at her, perhaps they were very close, perhaps he touched her... He did speak to her, His voice spoken for her (and for me :) "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Twelve years of suffering, possibly twelve years of not touching, nor being touched... by her husband, her children, her dearest friends- assuming she had kindred spirits, she did have an issue of blood - - for twelve years.
But now. Now. Now she is healed. Now she has His Word, intimate, personal Words spoken to her... Twelve years of suffering, one moment, one touch.
I have always been drawn to her faith, to the Touch, to His Words... but I did not stop to count the cost before she arrived at that moment. Sadly, I had never stopped to think of her life in those twelve years. We so often long to have the faith of others, the joy of others... yet we do not stop to look at where they have been. I am uncertain of how she was treated, what she was permitted to do, what she was not permitted to do.
When she touched His garment, when He spoke to her- it has always been amazing to me, thinking of how she must have felt in those moments. But today, today, I have thought of it not only in the light of His Love, but also in the shadow of her past.