The woman who shuffled out of the doctor’s office had her head down and shoulders slumped. She was young, but she moved like an old woman. Twelve years of visiting doctor after doctor and trying treatment after treatment had almost sucked the very life out of her. It had certainly sucked up her finances. She had nothing left. She was destitute.
Today, the doctor had told her that her hemorrhage was only worsening. And it would continue to worsen. Years of disappointments had piled up, and she was too drained to do anything other than give a weary sigh. There were no tears left to cry.
Other women her age were married and had children. Not her. The constant bleeding meant that she was polluted and unclean. According to the law, no one was allowed to even brush against her clothing or sit on a chair she had sat on, or they too would be unclean. She could not marry. She could not have children. She could not have close friends. No one wanted her. She was alone.
Alone, destitute, and slowly dying.
There was no hope. And yet, there was one Healer she hadn’t tried. Even she, an outcast, had heard the stories of blind people regaining sight and dead people coming back to life. There were rumours that He would be travelling through her town.
Sure enough, one day, she saw a large crowd in the distance. She squinted her eyes. Could it be? Yes, yes, it was! Right in the middle of the crowd was the Healer! Her heart began to thump wildly. If I could just touch Him, I too could be healed! She thought to herself. But I’m unclean. How can I get through all of those people? And yet, this could be my only chance at living a normal life.
Without another thought, she plunged into the crowd. There were many tightly packed people pressing in and she had to shove with all her strength to get through.
“Hey!” People yelled. “What do you think you’re doing?”
But she ignored them. Spurred on by her desperation, she kept pushing until she reached the the Healer. Good. He was facing the other way, his attention captured by a frantic Roman whose daughter was sick. Closing her eyes, she summoned all of her courage, reached out with her hand, and touched the edge of the His robe. Instantly, she felt her bleeding stop.
And then, the Healer turned around.
“Who touched My robe?”
The realization of what she had done suddenly hit her. She, a polluted outcast, had touched the hem of One who was perfection itself—God, in human form. Throwing herself down at His feet, she began to sob.
He looked down at her, not with the condemnation she expected, however, but with kindness. “You’re healed. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Not just the physical suffering, but the mental anguish as well. Just like that, it was all over. She was free.
For years, I hated myself for the sin and weakness in my life. I was a Christian, but a sick one. Self-loathing was my sickness. It consumed me and sucked the spiritual life right out of me. The enemy knew that if he could get me to direct my frustration and anger inward, I’d be so busy feeling condemned that I’d never overcome.
I saw my Healer, but a crowd seemed to surround Him—a crowd that consisted of my sins, failures, and weaknesses. But Romans 6: 7 says that Jesus died to break the power of sin. And Romans 3:22 says, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.” And so finally, fueled by desperation and armed with these truths, I pushed my way into His presence—past my sin, past my failures, and past my doubts.
When I grabbed hold of Jesus, my life was transformed. Sometimes, those feelings of condemnation come back. And when they do, I push my way back into His presence and grab hold of Him again. And then, once again, just like that, it is all over. I have peace. I am free.
The Bible says that the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force. Sometimes you need to get violent against the things that are holding you back. You need to actively shove those things out of the way. Because in the midst of the crowd, your Healer is waiting. And His eyes are not filled with condemnation, but with kindness. He desperately wants to say to you the same words that He spoke to that woman long ago, the same words that He spoke to me:
“You’re healed. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”