Friday, July 8, 2011

He called her daughter

It's been a while since I've been able to write anything due to a broken hand, but I couldn't wait any longer so I figured I would peck this one out with a barely decent broken right hand, of which I predominate in, and my left hand.

There was this woman. Not an ordinary woman. She was inflicted with a physical infirmity that had lasted at least 12 years. We don't know how old she was. Maybe she was only 22; or 30; or even 40. Does it matter? You bet it matters.

There are some things in this story that's not provided to us. For example, who's fault is it that this woman is inflicted? Hers? A strangers? A family member? In any case we know she's a victim. 

On the surface the Bible tells us this woman had an "issue" of blood for twelve years. For the most part, people who fail to dig into God's word fall short of seeing her real issue. It is a common belief her issue was just some problematic blood issue such as hemophilia, the condition where the blood is unable to coagulate.

The hemorrhaging issue was the least of her problems even though she was in the market to seek healing from Jesus. A place of ultimate shame for her. Of all places, she was forbidden in the public market.
Dig deeper into the scripture here and we see it's referring to her menstrual time. A hemorrhage of the womb or bowels. She is considered to be in a state of impurity if after 3 to 5 days up to seven days after her normal time. Anyone who touches her will be considered unclean. If a man so much as lies with her or even sits in the same seat she sat in he is unclean for seven days until a ritual cleansing.

According to the Jews any female lasting past their 7 days she was considered unclean and shunned from the village. It was her own responsibility to remain distant from others and in many cases were required to shout, "unclean," when approaching a crowd of people. It was her responsibility to remove herself from her home so as to not contaminate her bedroom and bed. Imagine the humiliation of it for a week.

Of the most humiliating procedures was a hysterectomy. It was a downright denial of one's own ability of child bearing. Of which was upheld with great honor. 

She lost all of her financial resources going from dr. to dr. all of which no luck. Physician after physician gave up on her. More than likely she got fed up a few times herself.  She would pack a few things and head to the city.  

Now imagine twelve years. As I mentioned, the Bible doesn't indicate when it began. But what if it began right after her first cycle? Let's say age 12 and now she's 24 years old. This is the age range when most girls are being courted. But not this young girl. She can't and who would want to? She defiled before ever being touched.

But 12 years of physical years of discomfort and pain is nothing. Nothing when you compare them to the consequences. Twelve years of isolation and humiliation. Twelve years of feeling isolated, insecure, jobless, begging, feeling like a burden. Twelve years of being unwanted. Maybe many times feeling like there is no hope for her situations.

Imagine 12 years without feeling the touch of another human being. Maybe this woman remembered what the hugs of her father and mother felt like and longed for just one more. Maybe this woman who according to society was unclean and unfit cried herself to sleep at night in her bed alone yearning for the warm body of a companion. Longed to feel the arms of a lover hold her into the dark of the night.

This woman was a lady. Beaten down yes, but still a full-fledged lady waiting to express herself with another group of ladies. But for now that not's possible. Rather than sitting with ladies talking with them, she can hear them talk about her.

Social psychology refers to this as "social pain." The emotional pain caused by harm or threat to social connection; bereavement, embarrassment, shame and hurt feelings. Recent research in neuroscience suggests that physical pain and psychological pain share some underlying neurological mechanisms.

She is the woman with the issue of the blood. By now science tells us she is also the woman with the issues of hormones.

She did not ignore her infliction. As a matter of fact she was flat broke from spending her finances seeking a cure. There is no mention of any others helping her find that cure. Only herself. While physically afflicted she refused to give in and give up and continued to somehow work to earn for the funds to seek her cure.

What was her greatest desire to see healed?

She is supposed to remain away from busy streets, but one day she hears Jesus is coming.  The streets were already crowded and packed. People shoving. No matter. And she didn't care she wasn't supposed to be there. Maybe by now she'd given up all hope of ever getting better. But then she heard about Jesus: the miracle worker. Desperate, she knew had to get to him. Even though it meant the possibility of exposing her disease in front of thousands of people. The nature of her disease was such that she did not care to make a public complaint of it.

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. It's impossible to run while carrying luggage.

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

Jesus cared enough to listen to her story. But wait. He was on His way to cure a dying child who had no time to waste. 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. Jesus cared enough to listen to 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.
This was when heart was healed.

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

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Where my inspiration comes from

A Recycled-Dad with Bipolar & Parkinson's, reflections on fathering and family life and other stuff thrown in'll love my Soap Box Rants

Blog with Integrity\\ Auhor Lupe Picazo

Why I call myself a Recycled Dad

I call myself a Recycled Dad because of the struggles with remarriage and being a step-parent and weekend dad. This is also about my life living with bipolar and how it affects me personally, my family and my job. It also reflects on the grace God has poured out on me throughout recovery from alcohol and an eating disorder. Recycled Dad is about my reflections on the wisdom God teaches daily on fatherhood and being a better husband in spite of being bipolar.

Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome them