the hem of His robe

The woman bled for 12 years straight. Physician after physician shrugged his shoulders. She’d given up all hope of ever getting better. But then she heard about Jesus: the miracle worker. Desperate, she knew she had to get to Him. As she clawed her way through the crowd on her hands and knees, she carried with her much more than her illness. She carried shame. As if in a bag over her shoulder, she dragged along a heavy burden of rejection and fear. She's referred to as the “woman with the issue of blood”, but her issues ran much deeper than that. Her physical ailment made her an outcast in her own culture. Her emotional hurts and scars were far worse than her physical ones.

Finally catching up to Jesus, she reached out and frantically, yet faintly, grabbed the hem of His robe. Immediately, she was healed. Jesus turned around and faced the crowd. “Who touched Me?”

She told Him the whole truth. She told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Jesus cared enough to listen to her story. The long version. He just let her talk. He was on His way to heal a dying girl. People were rushing Him. Pressing Him. Insisting He keep going before it’s too late. He silenced them long enough for her to tell her story.

When she finished talking, He responded by calling her Daughter. It’s the only time recorded that He addressed someone that way. The love she felt in that one simple word must have been overwhelming. After pouring out her heart, He'd responded with pure affection. Gentle but aggressive love.

If Jesus’ aim was simply to heal her, He would have kept walking after she touched Him, for she was healed instantly. If that was all He was concerned about, He wouldn’t have stopped, turned around, asked the question. He wouldn't have looked straight at her, talked to her, listened. But He did all those things. He wanted to let her talk. To tell her story. He wanted to call her Daughter.

For that is when her heart was healed.

He wanted to heal more than her body. His aim all along was to heal her heart.

I can picture Him looking her in the eyes as He talked to her. And making her look into His. The healing began as, face-to-face, His love was visible, and it resonated within her soul. It broke down walls. Shattered barriers. Smashed through the defenses she’d lived behind for so long. His love broke through with a simple gaze, a listening ear, and undivided attention.

It wouldn’t have helped if He healed her physically, but left her to still carry the hurt from her 12 years of rejection and disgrace. Despite her physical healing, she probably would have continued to stay holed up in her house. She would have been the same cowering little girl she always was, still dragging her bag of shame behind her. But as Jesus looked into her eyes, He saw the woman He created her to be, and He wasn’t content to leave her drowning in her pain.

The greatest healing isn’t the miraculous cure of her incurable disease. It is the passionate healing of her heart.

God’s primary concern is still the condition of hearts. Physical health and a blessed life pale in comparison with a restored soul. God’s heart hurts for our hurting hearts.

He still brings love, grace, and healing through a touch of the hem of His robe.

And we are the hem of His robe.

[originally posted this day two years ago]