Saturday, June 28, 2008

2 Desperate Women

A woman and a sick woman at that. A real outcast at that time. She’d gone everywhere to get help. It had been 12 years and that’s an eternity if you’re hemorrhaging. She’s lucky she lived that long. Today she might have been hospitalized, put on IV to replenish her fluids and eventually she’d have a hysterectomy. But then she was avoided and she just continued to get weaker. Every year she deteriorated more. She must have known she could not do this much longer. She’d been to see whoever she could see about it. There was nothing anyone else could do.
Maybe she’d been desperate for months. Maybe she felt herself get physically weaker. She might have begun to give up until she heard about Jesus. She heard how he had raised the widow’s son to life and how he had cured the centurion’s daughter. The widow and the daughter were both females. “Surely someone who could raise a person back to life would help me.” That’s the day she determined to find him. She heard the stories from the town’s people and she kept track of his travels. Large crowds were following him so the tracking was easy. Following was a bit harder in her weakened condition but her need drove her onward. She felt a great excitement on the day when she finally caught a glimpse of him through the crowd. Silently she argued with herself. How would she get through the dense gathering of people clamoring for his attention? What would she say when she finally got to that point where she could address him? This was a determined woman. After all those years of illness all that struggle to finally catch up to him, nothing was going to deter her now. Her desperation was that great and her belief that Jesus would be the one to help her was that strong.
She dug in and nudged her way through. Shoulder to shoulder, one person at a time. She overheard conversations as she went. The widow’s son, a sermon he had given, who his apostles were. “Do you think he’s really a Son of God?” some asked. She could see him now. Her heart rate went up. Just a few more rows of people to go. She knew she was doing the right thing. She knew she’d never get to speak to him but she reasoned it wasn’t even necessary. All she’d have to do is….
And she touched the fringe on his cloak. For a few short seconds she held on to it. He didn’t even see her because she was behind him. That’s OK.

12 years
No help
No where else to go
Her last hope

She felt the fabric of his fringe.
That was all she needed.

For me it’s not been 12 years Jesus- not even 12 months. My stress started on 9-16-07. And I need you, too. My head has been doing a lot of work to reason out the problems. My heart has found a way to protect itself from pain by avoiding stressors. So I manage until my heart is forced to deal with an issue for some reason. I’m weak. I need to depend on you, reach out to you, and feel your presence. I want my heart to feel you nearby. I feel like I’m walking through the crowd to get to touch you. In this case it’s a crowd of thoughts and activities though. I need my heart and my mind to be very still and willing to feel. I avoid that in a self protective kind of way. (I’m actually the opposite of the woman with the hemorrhage. I’m emotionally cold and all closed up.) But Jesus, I am hurting. I’m in emotional pain and need you beside me. I’ll deal with it. I’m OK if this is your plan for me right now. I’m not asking you to take it away. I only want to occasionally feel you beside me. Problem is, if I feel you then I can feel everything and that leads me to depression. I comfort myself in knowing that you know what I’m experiencing and that I am doing your will. It’s a knowledge, not a feeling though. It suffices. I guess I’m looking to you for a comfort connection.
Oddly the woman with the hemorrhage wants to feel too – to touch you so she could be healed. She did reach out and “immediately her bleeding stopped. “ Luke 8:44
Jesus’ response was “Who touched me? I know that power has gone out from me.” Verses 45 and 46.
I’m reaching out too Jesus. Not many people know what I’m going through. I’ve sought help from professionals like the woman did. The situation just keeps evolving. There’s no where else for me to turn for emotional strength. I’m reaching for you through the crowd. Reaching out to you for emotional support and for the strength to endure. Life remains busy all around me. I need to get through it in order to reach you, to touch the fringe of your cloak.
When I reach you emotionally – one day when I can- I want to hear the same sentence, “Who touched me? I know power has gone out from me.”
For now I move toward you and hope that my frozen heart melts one day so I can feel your touch again. Your will be done.

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