Lenten Meditation-Mark 5:34
34He [Jesus] said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’
Jesus was surrounded by a great crowd when a woman touched his cloak and was healed. Certainly she wasn’t the only sick person in the crowd and not the only person touching him. Yet with all the people around him, Jesus felt her touch. He felt his healing power go out to someone.
The woman had been suffering for twelve years. According to the gospel, she had tried everything and given up everything to make herself well again. She was at the end of her rope. This was her last hope. And the hope within her was so great. Though desperate, she still only found the courage to quietly touch Jesus from behind. Why is there something about this encounter that brings a tear to my eye?
I picture a pale sickly women pushing desperately through this throng that surrounds Jesus. She is very weak from the haemorrhaging she has endured for so long. She looks so tired. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’29Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. (Mark 5:27-29)
For twelve years she was sick. The constant presence of sickness and then suddenly the sick was gone. I imagine this touch, so reverent, and immediately the exchange of healing energy takes place. But the crowd keeps moving nobody else notices. The woman stops and feels the healing. Jesus stops; turns around. He knows. He felt it too. At that moment the two are alone in the crowd. She is sore afraid. Jesus’ eyes fall upon her. He knows that her faith has healed her. He calms her fears and sends her in peace to enjoy her life again.
There was a certain gentleness about that moment that I find hard to describe. To me, it was different from other Gospel healings. Jesus was caught off guard. It was an unexpected touch of faith in a crowd. Deep faith touched him. This is what saves. And this is where hope lies, in the gentle touch of faith. I think that’s why it brings tears to my eyes.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, faith brings the healing. Healing makes us whole. Let us reach out and touch your clothes and be whole. Amen.