What if the woman with the issue of blood told her story - rather than Matthew, Mark, and Luke - of the day she encountered Jesus? Perhaps she would tell it something like this:
My life didn’t start out that away…alone and outcast, on the fringes of society. I had a husband once. We looked forward to a family.
I never saw it coming. Or maybe I should say, I never thought it would stay, my issue with blood. One month it just came. Then…never left. At first my husband waited, but after months turned into a year, he could not deal with my perpetual state of unclean. And of course, I couldn’t have children in this untouchable state. So, he left.
For twelve years, I saw doctor after doctor. Each offered me nothing more than superstitious remedies. I endured much at the hands of many. Spent everything I had, only to get sicker. Longing for an end to my issue. Aching for a simple hug or a tender hand to hold.
Then…I began to hear the rumors, rumors of a man from Nazareth named Jesus. People spoke about how He had turned water into wine at a wedding. They said He, Jesus, heals the sick - the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk - even demons flee at His command. And the dead? They come back to life! Some say He is a prophet. But others say, He is HIM…the Messiah…the Son of the Living God.
After hearing all of this, I decided that, if the rumors are indeed true, Jesus IS the Messiah. And, if Jesus is the Messiah, if I could just touch the hem of His garment, I would be healed.
News came that Jesus had returned to Galilee and was teaching down by the sea. I determined this was my chance. As I neared the sea, I saw a great crowd of people. I stood against the side of the hill, listening, watching from a safe distance...away from the people that I would make unclean by my touch.
Don't you know? Teachers, like Jesus, go to great lengths to avoid being unclean, so much so, that they do not even speak to their own female family members in public.
While Jesus was teaching, Jairus – an important religious man in our town – pushed his way through the crowd. Falling at His feet, Jarius pleaded with Jesus to come to his house. This important religious man's daughter was dying. She was only twelve years old. Suddenly, the entire crowd hastily headed my way. As they went by me, I was engulfed in the throng.
I know I should have fled in the other direction when I saw them coming. But please understand…this was my ONLY chance. I knew I shouldn’t be there at all, but I just had to get to... to reach out...to touch...Jesus.
Suddenly, there He was. About to pass me. I knelt. I reached…
Then it happened. The edge of my fingers grazed one the tassels dangling from His cloak. There are no words to describe what happened to me. But I knew in that instant, I was healed.
Suddenly, Jesus stopped, and the entire crowd came to a stand still, as Jesus questioned those around Him, “Who touched my cloak?”
I was terrified that I would be found out. That Jesus, and the crowd, would be angry because I had made so many unclean by my presence, brushing up against them. I should not have been in the crowd that day. I knew it, and now everyone else would know it, too.
I tried to hide myself, but then His eyes locked with mine. I stepped forward, fearful, making my non-verbal confession.
But rather than disappointment or disgust, Jesus' lips curled up into a soft a smile. Looking into my eyes…and through me into my very soul…He leaned toward me and held out His hand, and said in the gentlest voice, “It was you. You touched me. Come." He took my hand. "Tell me all about it.”
Jesus listened to my story…about how it all began, being abandoned by husband, the doctors, the pain, the isolation, the loneliness…all of it. He never flinched. He did not recoil at my unclean-ness. And, my touch had not even made Him unclean.
As I talked to Jesus, I could see the crowd getting anxious, wanting Him to continue on to Jairus’ house. When I would stop talking - distracted by the crowd - Jesus would gently touch my cheek, raising my eyes to look into His, and nod as if to say, “Go on. I’m listening.” So, I told Him everything. Do you know what He said to me? “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace…healed of your sickness.”
He gave me life. Peace. Healing. I only wish I had more time with Him in that moment. But word came that Jarius’ daughter had died, and with the crowd following behind, Jesus hurried on to Jairus‘ house.
But Jesus had stopped for me – the alone, afraid, outcast, untouchable – and I will never ever be the same.
Oh, and don’t be sad about Jairus’ daughter. She’s alive! The rumors are true, Jesus brings the dead to life!!