When desperation drives you

Claustrophobic, bodies pressed in on her from all sides. They didn't know her condition and if they did they wouldn't touch for fear of breaking the law. Her aging body was clothed with shame and she loathed herself, her willingness to make others unclean to get to this Man and her willingness to make this Man unclean, but desperation kept her pressing into the crowd, shoving others out of the way. Her audacity was uncharacteristic since she had lived with the social stigma of bleeding for twelve years. Twelve long years where the suffering of isolation from others had been as painful as the condition. She had spent everything trying to get well, her money on doctors, her emotional strength to keep persevering and now she had nothing left - no dignity, no riches, no social standing. She was rejected and scorned - unclean and unfit to be touched according to the law. She had already lost everything, what else could she lose? She had heard of this Man, the healer. She didn't know who He was or where He came from but she needed healing. There were no other options for her, she had exhausted them all. The suffering at the hands of the doctors made her worse instead of better. This Man was her only hope. With that resolve in her heart she kept pressing into the crowd, forcing her way forward. The noise was overwhelming and bodies were crushing her from all sides. A sharp elbow struck her in the ribs and she felt trapped and in pain, it was suffocating in the middle of all these people and He still seemed so far away. "Trapped and in pain," isn't that a picture of my life? She thought. Why shouldn't I just give up? Is it ever going to be any different than this? It's too hard, there are too many people in the way and I'm tired of trying. People surged ahead of her and He was further away than ever. She stood alone in her trial. Time seemed to slow, she heard the faces, the clamoring of bodies, she felt the blood dripping, always flowing. She was unclean, poor, rejected, in pain. Was this really going to be her life forever? Something inside her rose up and she cried out "No! This does not have to be my existence. He is here! I just have to get to Him." Resolved, she forced her way through the crowd, not caring about who she touched, not defined by the rejection or her suffering. Elbowing her way closer she could see His friends around Him. She pressed on through the sea of faces with just one focus, to touch his robe. Reaching between two of his friends she touched his garment. It felt rough as her fingers touched it - not painfully rough but like the fibers holding it together were strong. She didn't want to let go because that strength had flowed into her body and the flow of blood had stopped. She knew she had been healed and relief flooded her only to be overtaken by fear as the Healer turned around and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
"You see the people crowding against you, " his friends answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
The Healer kept looking around to see who had done it and her heart almost stopped beating with terror. Would He make a public disgrace of her? What would he say now that she had made Him unclean according to the law? She would be mocked and scorned. The anxiety was overwhelming but she knew she had to confess. She forced her legs to move her as every fiber of her being wanted to hide in the shame she felt. Throwing herself into the dust at his feet her whole body trembled. She smelt the dust and could see his feet. She just kept looking down as she felt her mouth open and she started to speak, telling Him everything, the confession of the soul washing her clean on the inside. She had never felt cleaner in her life and she continued to pour forth the truth before the crowds while she looked at his dusty, beautiful feet. Feeling the weight leave her soul she looked up at Him and His eyes were stunning. They were clear and light, dancing with joy and left her breathless. Who was this Man that she was talking to? "Take heart, daughter," He said to her, calling her a name that both comforted and gave her belonging. "Your faith has healed you." He continued, "Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." As He was still speaking some men came and started speaking to the synagogue ruler with her Healer. The beautiful eyes turned from her, addressed the synagogue ruler and they were gone. She smiled, holding the treasure of His gaze in her heart and feeling the wholeness of her body. Her eyes were now the ones dancing with joy as blood no longer flowed from her body but, instead, a river of peace.


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