For today, please read Luke 8:40-48.
This woman has been suffering for so long, and has tried so many things, that, when Jesus comes along she doesn’t hesitate for reason. She just reaches out in faith. In Matthew and Mark’s version of the story the woman says to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” (Matthew 9:21, Mark 5:28). Now, I’m not naive enough to suggest that her actions aren’t a mix of faith and desperation. She is desperate, absolutely. Her life has been full of misery and attempts at healing that always result in dead ends. I imagine that her illness has left little time for creativity, relationships, and joy. Her illness has crowded out the things that we take for granted, crowded out a sense of ease, and maybe even crowded out hope.
Have you ever really listened to what daily life is like for someone who deals with chronic pain? Are you that person? I’ve had many conversations along the way with those who live with daily chronic pain and I always leave humbled. Humbled and worn out. The amount of energy it takes just to get through the day, let alone investigate all possible cures and try them is enormous. Luke’s Gospel says this woman has been suffering for 12 years. 12 years! Whether that is historically accurate or not, the writer really wants us to understand that she’s been at this a long time and hasn’t had any relief. Most of us would be worn out physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and this woman is too. She is so tired that all she can do is just reach out.
And that’s enough.
Reaching out in faith is enough.
Reaching out in faith is enough for Jesus.
Reaching out in faith is enough for Jesus to love us into wholeness.
Jesus reaches back in faith to heal the broken and exhausted.
Jesus reaches back to meet this woman in faith.
Jesus reaches back to us.
And that’s enough.
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray:
Everlasting God, you give strength to the weak and power to the faint. Make us agents of your healing and wholeness, that your good news may be made known to the ends of your creation, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Friend, Amen.