Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Unnamed Women of Infuence

Many people feel sorry for the woman with the issue of blood because of the confines of the Law of Moses which would preclude her from a normal life. That would be tough but personally having dealt with a low thyroid and then being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue on top of it, I think her biggest trial was no energy. Can you imagine how anemic she must have been. Whatever her greatest burden, there do seem to be two types of healing in this story. First her body was restored and then her spirit.(From Matthew 9: 20-22)

The Woman Who Touched the Hem- Illness

My life began as a happy one. I was married to a wealthy man, soon became pregnant and expected a full life and large family. But it wasn’t long before I lost the baby I was carrying. The grief was difficult, but in addition I carried another burden- oddly my bleeding never stopped. Jewish law considered me unclean, and my poor husband was forbidden from being in my presence. At first we sought the advice of doctors, but I only grew worse. After a few years we decided it would be best if we divorced. He gave me a portion of his wealth, and I continued to try and find a cure.
Despite my efforts, nothing seemed to help. Although some worry about my grief, loneliness and loss, the hardest part for me is that I’m always tired. I used to be full of joy and enthusiasm. I was fun, smart and beautiful. But now I find myself dragging around like an old woman, and hardly have enough energy for my brain to function. In the morning I find myself caring little about how I will fill my empty days. I don’t even like to gaze at my pale face in the glass as it only reflects a sorry shadow of the real me. Once I was a beauty, but any trace of what I was has been replaced by this broken shell. It is just so much to have taken away.
When first I heard of this Jesus, I didn’t want to hope again. In the past when news arrived of some doctor who may be able to cure me, it was as though a great light filled my heart only to have it extinguished and deflated after months of pain and handfuls of gold coins were spent. Still, somehow this seemed different and I set out at the break of day, unsure of my resolve.
The crowd was surprisingly thick in the narrow streets, and I tried to work my way through them without coming into contact with anyone. You see, touching me would make them unclean. It took most of the morning. By the time I finally got within about five feet of him, I could see his face and was filled with an unexpected hope. I simply knew he could heal me. His power was real, and as I watched him speak to those around him, I could feel his love.
Suddenly, a man bumped against me and continued forward. It caught me off guard, and I wondered if I should tell him of my condition so he might cleanse himself. He moved away so swiftly that I didn’t get the chance. I watched him kneel before the Savior with a look of utter sorrow and beg the Messiah to come to his home. His daughter was sick, nigh to death. As they began to leave, I fell to the ground. I knew if Jesus left, I might never get another chance. Closing my eyes, I prayed with more fervor than I thought I had. I asked God to heal me through his Son’s great power, even if I was only able to touch the tassel of his shawl. As the words danced through my mind, I was filled with fresh hope and felt certain I would indeed be healed.
When I opened my eyes, I was horrified. He had already passed by. I pawed my way through the crowd, not caring who I touched, and reached out to put my hand against the blue and white wool of his garment. The minute I did, I felt my body fill with strength. A smile found its way to my lips but disappeared moments later when Christ stopped and turned asking “Who touched me?”
His companions shook their heads, saying with so many how would he ask such a question, but I knew. Looking at the people pushing against me, I knew that they were each even unclean after my healing since seven days had to pass after my bleeding stopped before I could be around anyone. For me to reveal my plight would also entail a confession of my sin.
A single tear slid down my cheek. Taking a deep breath, I stepped forward and bowed my head. Whether I was punished or publicly ridiculed for exposing those around me and breaking the law, in gratitude I decided to confess. “It was I, Lord.” I began.
He touched my hand, and I lifted my eyes. “Daughter, be of good cheer.” There was joy beaming from his face, and all my concerns dissolved to nothingness. “Thy faith hath made the whole.” Although touching his hem had healed my body, it was his words that filled me with strength and gladness. As he walked away, I felt a new gratitude for these restored gifts and vowed that from then on I would use them well, lifting others as the greatest of all had lifted me.

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