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She walks, not caring where she’s going.
Those men. They claimed to understand the cause of her pain and took her money for cures, yet ignored her pleas when pain roared inside like a hideous beast.
She hears about a strange man who speaks to women with gentleness and care. Her experience screams at her. No man ever cares for a woman unless there is something in it for him.
The pain. She hates it as she would a master, yet it’s the blood that wrecks every possibility of connection in this religious law-abiding place.
She’s prayed and offered innumerable sacrifices, yet Yahweh the forever God pays no attention. Her gender and her disease separate her from everyone. She is left utterly alone.
But this man. What if it’s true? What if those women spoke the truth? A sliver of hope compels her to find him. Besides, what does she have left to lose? Tucking a wayward strand of silverstreaked hair under her head covering, she goes in search of him.
Soon, she’s trying to slide unnoticed through a mass of people. She wants to scream at them to move! Urgency boils in her.
Then she hears the most amazing sound. She can’t decide what it reminds her of exactly. The tone is nothing special, but somehow she knows. Intuition? She doesn’t care. His voice pulls her. This must be the man she heard about.
Suddenly, the slap of running feet. She recognizes Jairus’ voice from synagogue. His little girl is so sick, she’s dying. “Please come!”
Then she knows. As surely as she’s never seen his face, he will go. His compassion is almost palpable. The crowd begins to move again, but she’s gotten close enough in those few moments that she does the unthinkable.
She reaches out her hand and touches the back of his garment.
In that moment of contact, she is convinced. This isn’t just a man. He’s not another Zealot or Pharisee trying to grab the spotlight. They have nothing compared to him.
His power traveled from her fingertips, up her arm and spread through her whole body in a matter of seconds.
Then she knew. As every woman knows her body, she knew. She was whole. All the brokenness not just fitted together but completely eradicated. Gone.
Then he stops. The crowd laughs at something he says. Her ears pick up pieces… someone touched… power went. She freezes.
What an idiot she was to think she could be whole! She, a woman, just touched a man. Not only a man, but this man with such power even in his garments!
She forces her feet forward, stumbling. Falling to her knees before him, she admits what she did. Trembling, she lifts her eyes and meets his.
It takes a moment to focus. Her eyes flit from the kindness of his smile to the blinking dark pools of calm. Then his whole face slides into view.
“Daughter, your faith has healed you; go in peace, and be freed from your suffering.”
Daughter? How is that possible? She’s old enough to be his mother, yet those eyes of his looked right into her very soul. How is he able to define her? How can he, with such power, see her and not condemn her?
Questions demand her attention. With his eyes still locked on hers, she stands and all her questions fall away.
And she does the only thing that makes sense.
She follows him.