The crowd made the long walk home even harder.
She had sold her final possessions of any value to pay the healer to see her. He would have answers, he said. He said she wouldn’t have to bleed anymore. He wasn’t like the other healers that had taken her money anyway, he said. She should have known he was just like the others when he demanded payment upfront.
She had bled for twelve years.
It never relented or took a day off. She was weak and tired all the time. The blood made her unclean according to the temple, so no one wanted anything to do with her. She couldn’t touch anyone for fear of spreading her contamination. Her family had given everything they could, and she had already asked everyone in town for money.
She just wanted to get home. Progress was slow because she couldn’t handle the embarrassment of bumping into someone or accidentally touching someone and the guilt of wondering if she made them sick. When she was almost home, she saw Jairus, a local synagogue official, pushing through the crowd. What was he after? It was unlike a person of his stature to ever be in a hurry.
Desperation was for people like her.
The crowd seemed to be following Jairus. She found that odd. Why would anyone want to follow a synagogue official? It didn’t matter. She was finally home. She leaned back against the door to her home and sighed. Was there even enough oil left to light a lamp?
She watched the growing crowd around Jairus in the plaza across from her home. Her curiosity was beginning to get the best of her, and she considered walking over there to see what in the world was happening.
She stood up straight as she watched Jairus assertively make his way to a commoner in the plaza.
She was definitely interested now.
“Jesus! Please! It’s my daughter! She’s dying. You have to come with me.”
Jairus was on the ground at Jesus’ feet pleading and crying.
The crowd wasn’t following Jairus, he was following the crowd following Jesus.
She had heard the stories. Who hadn’t? They said Jesus healed the sick and caused the blind to see. Lepers were made clean. They said He fed large crowds. She even heard He healed a man paralyzed from birth in Capernaum.
She wouldn’t get her hopes up again. Why would He be any different?
But what if it were true?
She had a thought- what if I just touched the edge of His robe?
He would never know.
Before she realized what she was doing, she was halfway across the plaza. She quietly slipped through the crowd, careful not to touch anyone. She reached out a trembling hand and lightly grazed the sleeve of His robe.
She withdrew her hand and froze in shock. It was gone. She didn’t know how or could never explain, but the second she touched His robe the bleeding stopped. Tears of joy ran down her face.
Her joy melted into horror as she heard Jesus ask, “Who touched me?”
She was certain no one saw her. How did He know?
The men around Him tried to explain it away, reminding Jesus that He was surrounded by people.
She sank to the ground and fell down at His feet.
Half sobbing, half speaking, she told Him what she had done.
She would never forget the sound of His voice. He spoke with tenderness and kindness that was somehow powerful at the same time, calling her something only her father had.
She dared to look up at Him as He spoke.
His eyes were bright and kind. She realized that she was no longer afraid.
Jesus continued, “your faith has made you whole. Go in peace, healed of your disease.”
The crowd around her hummed with activity as men from Jairus’ home arrived. Their hands flailed about as they spoke. It was all a blur to her. All she could see was Jesus.
As Jesus turned to follow the men back to Jairus’ home, she swore she saw Him smile.