It had been twelve long years since she'd started this journey. Twelve years of trying to figure out what was wrong with her. Once this illness started, life became unbearably hard. People saw her as an outcast. She wasn't allowed to associate with family or friends. She couldn't be near anyone in public. She was wasn’t allowed to be near people - which meant she was terribly lonely.
She tried everything. She tried every natural remedy. She tried every medication anyone recommended. She went to multiple doctors trying to find relief. But the only thing that brought her was poverty. She spent everything she had on trying to restore her life - the life she loved and desperately wanted to participate in again.
It's a wonder she didn't give up long ago. But something kept driving her. Something kept telling her this was not it. This was not what her life was supposed to be about. As she sat on the outskirts of the town, unable to mingle and be part of the conversations, she heard people talking about a man. This man was able to heal people. He'd healed blind men, lame men and even lepers. He wasn't afraid of the labels or the common beliefs about associating with those who were sick. And from the rumors, he was headed to her town.
She made a plan. It was risky. She was not supposed to be near everyone else because she was considered unclean. She hated that word. She hated that people saw her as a disease instead of a person. What did she have to lose? She had no money, no family and friends to support her; heck, they weren't allowed near her. She made a plan, said a prayer and waited.
Jesus did pass through the town and as always, there was a throng of people around him. They pressed in on every side. How was she going to get to him? They weren't going to part to let her through - she was after all a woman and she was unclean. She could be severely punished for touching anyone and making them unclean. At that moment, a man named Jairus came and started telling Jesus that his daughter was dying. The crowd stopped to listen. This was her chance. She dropped to her knees and crawled through the sea of robes and feet careful not to touch anyone. Her heart was pounding. As she neared to Jesus, she reached out. She just needed to touch him.
As she heard Jesus say "Let's go see your daughter", her fingers brushed the edge of his robe. She felt a surge of energy in her body. She knew something had changed and she quickly tried to back out of the crowd before she was caught.
The crowd stopped and Jesus said "Who touched by robe?" The disciples thought he was joking because well, everyone was touching his robe! But he was serious. "Who touched my robe?" Was there a no way to escape without being noticed? Terrified, she stood up and faced him. "It was me." And she told him the whole, sordid story. His response? Daughter (Can you believe it? He called me Daughter!), your faith has made you well. Your suffering is over."
As she stood there trying to process what just happened, she was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with relief, with unbelief, and with shock at what just happened. But there was something more. She was taken with this man. This man that had so much power and was in such demand yet he stopped to talk to her. He stopped to focus on her and to encourage her. She couldn’t really comprehend it all. What she did know was she walked away and headed toward her family was that she was loved and because of her encounter with Jesus, she was healed.
Adapted from Mark 5:21-34