I saw a Facebook post tonight and it reminded me of something I’d been pondering lately. The post spoke about this series, “The Chosen,” and how they portrayed the Bible story of the woman who’d been bleeding for 12 years. Not only has she been physically ill, but because of the bleeding, she would have been considered unclean under the law. Since she was unclean, that would’ve put actual physical barriers between her and other people. No one could touch her or anything she had touched because that would make them unclean too. Over the years she had gone to many doctors and none had made her any better, only worse. By the time her path crosses Jesus’, she’s been sick for years, she’s broke and desperate. She’s at the end of her rope and thinks, believes, knows that Jesus is her only answer for healing. She goes to touch the hem of his robe and miraculously is healed! This is one of my favorite stories as the details paint a beautiful picture of how Jesus relates to the woman.
It was a tweet though that gave me a different perspective. Someone had wondered about this woman and who would have been the first people after Jesus to speak to her? Could it be the women who followed along with Jesus? We have details of multiple women traveling with Him and the disciples during this time. How would these women have responded to a woman, who because of her sickness, was considered unclean? I imagined they watched with the rest of the crowd, transfixed as Jesus asked “who touched me?” They saw as a woman came before Jesus, seeing fear in her face as she told her story. They then saw Him gently call her daughter, and proclaim her whole!
As sisters in Christ, we should be walking with each other, ready to come along side and hold out a hand to lift up and encourage. As daughters, we should be ready to do that with anyone that God brings our way. In this story it was a woman who was unclean, for us it may be a woman who’s just made the wrong choices for too long a season. The mercy shown in an outstretched hand may just be what she needs to finally leave that season, and seek something good. I watched “The Chosen” and could barely wait for the story line to reach this scene. I quietly sobbed as I watched the show portray the story. While I might have tweaked it a bit, I was so touched by how it was portrayed. It confirmed something to me that I had been feeling since the tweet I’d read weeks earlier. That’s the kind of woman I want to be! Ready and willing to listen, love and be of service to the women God brings along my path!
As women, they probably heard and sympathized as they knew what their own monthly bleeding meant and how it affected their lives. I wonder though, did they pause before approaching her as she was technically unclean? Was there a barrier in their minds, knowing what the law stated? They may have paused in their actions, but I like to think that the care Jesus showed this woman, gave them the freedom to know what to do next! That in the next moment when Jesus was called off to heal a young girl, they stepped forward and kneeled down next to this new sister in faith. I can imagine they would have been making plans to get her fresh clothes, asking who her family was, and talking excitedly about her restoration to the community and home. I was struck by the scene as I imagined it, and knew this is how it should be!