The day was hot, the atmosphere was dusty, and her strength was gone as was all her money. A twelve-year battle with this bleeding problem had decimated her resources and her hope. But she had heard stories about a young rabbi named Jesus who had healed many and was coming to her village. She gathered what little hope she had left and ventured into the large crowd that surrounded him. She knew she was unclean and would not be able to talk to him, but perhaps if she just touched the edge of his cloak. He would never know, and she just might be healed. It wasn’t much hope, but it was all she had.
Setting aside her fears and mustering all her courage, she inched her way toward the rabbi, bent down, reached out, and touched the fringe of his cloak. Suddenly heat coursed through her body and she knew she was healed.
But then she heard Jesus say, “Who touched me?” The disciples reminded him of the crush of people, but he said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Fear struck her heart and she knew she could not go unnoticed (Luke 8:47). Cloaked in fear, shame, and guilt, she admitted it was her hand that touched him. Then something happened that was more than she could have imagined. Instead of the condemnation and punishment she expected, she heard Jesus say, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
He noticed her!
He called her “daughter!”
He accepted her!
He healed her!
He set her free!
This story from Luke 8:43-48 has always touched a tender part of my heart. I wonder how many of us have experienced the feelings of hopelessness or the shame of being “unclean.” We long to be close to Jesus knowing he is our only hope. Yet feelings of unworthiness hold us back. We need strength to turn our back on our fears and courage to reach out to “touch he edge of his cloak” which is as close as a prayer away. If we do, we can be assured that we will not go unnoticed.
Even when other people ignore, abandon, or shun us, Jesus notices our loneliness. Even when people judge us or condemn us, Jesus notices all that is good in us and accepts us as we are. Even when we make mistakes or use bad judgment, Jesus notices our repentant heart and offers complete forgiveness. Even when life seems overwhelming and situations go from bad to worse, Jesus notices our struggle and walks beside us each step of the way. Even when fear grips our hearts when we hear a dreaded diagnosis, Jesus notices and sends his Spirit to empower us.
In a world that is getting increasingly polarized and where people are pitted against each other, we are never alone or unnoticed by Jesus. As communication becomes less about personal interaction and more about electronic connection, Jesus notices our humanity and meets our deepest needs.
Like the woman of the story we cannot go unnoticed. Jesus will heal, redeem and restore.
Thanks be to God!