Let's set the stage. The streets are spilling over with people. I don't know why, and I've never been there, but I imagine a thickness hanging in the air. Amidst the smell of sweat and spices, man and beast, is a woman without a name. Jesus and his disciples are working their way through the streets when all the sudden Christ stops and says, "Who touched me?" As my teenagers would say, "Um, is he for real?" Because everyone is touching everyone! Not that kind of touch, he knows that holy power has left him. Read for yourself from Luke 8:42b-48.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
You're probably wondering why on earth I would start with this particular account of Jesus' miracles. Well, for me this portion of Scripture was the beginning of my own healing. You see, I had this baby girl. She was undeniably beautiful (and still is!), and so very precious to so many people. But here I was at twenty two, a month shy of being married two years, and with a two month old baby who had therapy four days a week. I was completely overwhelmed and under-educated. But I knew Jesus could heal her.
There was not a nap or bedtime in the first few years of her life that I didn't sneak into her room after she fell asleep and lay my hands on her tiny head to ask God to heal her. I remember one particular afternoon that I finished praying for her and found myself flat on my face in the living room crying out to God. "Jesus, ooh Jesus, I'm the woman in the crowd...if only you were here, I would push my way through the crowd to touch the edge of your cloak. But I have you inside of me Lord, I believe you can heal her." I'm talking, full on hysterical. Heartbreaking, right?
For whatever reason, despite all the many prayers I've prayed over these last ten years, that particular one so full of faith and desperation has anchored itself in my memory. It begs the question of why she isn't healed the way I want her to be. First, it's important that I am clear about the fact that I'm not God and I would never dare to presume to understand His ways. Listen to His words in Isaiah 55:8-9:
"8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Still, I think Scripture creates a beautiful picture for us about how Jesus feels about the disabled. There are priceless treasures of hope and purpose buried inside our toughest questions for God! Proverbs 2:3-5 says,
and raise your voice for understanding,
4 if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God."