The essence of the Christian faith is the good news about God. That God is love is the bedrock of our faith. All of the Christian teaching about who we are and about our relationships with God and each other is rooted in the good news that God is love and that He loves His creatures.
It is natural I suppose that when we are really hurting, we put up our defenses and perhaps, become a bit rebellious. We feel victimized in some way and want to know "why?" We try all sorts of escape mechanisms only to discover that we feel more and more isolated, lonely and lost.
In Mark 5 we read about a woman who must have been sad and hurt for a long time. She had been sick, not for a couple of weeks, not for a couple of months, not even for a couple of years. But she had been suffering with some type of blood disorder for 12 long agonizing years. For over a decade she had experienced physical anguish and emotional pain.
Scripture tells us that this woman had spent all her financial resources going to see many doctors. She had taken all the medicines prescribed but was no better. She had utilized her reserved energy, spent all of her emotions, and probably used all of her friends and all other helps to no avail. Her condition only worsens.
I can imagine how this woman must have felt. Perhaps you can too. When all the doors close on you; when you do the best you can and nothing seems to jell. This woman was tired. She was tired of being sick, tired of disappointment, tired of being a prisoner of disease, tired of hoping in lost causes, tired of taking one step forward and moving backwards two, sick and tired of being sick and tired.
This woman typifies human despair, not only physical but spiritual. For her, the world could offer no healing; she represents all of us who look everywhere for peace of mind and spirit; for hope and comfort, and find none.
But one day, probably while wondering what her next move would be; maybe contemplating suicide, maybe thinking about drowning her sorrows in alcohol, she began to think about some reports she had heard about a man named Jesus. She heard about a miracle worker from Galilee who healed the sick, unstopped deafen ears, gave sight to the blind and opened the mouths of the dumb. So she made up her mind to somehow get to Him.
I think what is interesting is that this woman did not broadcast her plan. Scripture does not say that she shared what she intended to do with anyone; she did not ask for anybody's opinion. Rather, she said within herself, "If I just touch the hem oh his garment ? I KNOW I will be made whole." She believed Jesus cured, she expected healing and she was healed. Immediately she was freed from 12 years of suffering.
Jesus has got the power. We know this because when she touched Him, He asked in essence, "Who touched me? I know somebody has touched me because I felt some of my power leave me."
What this says to me and what I share with you is that sometimes we have to push an audience with our Lord. We have to push our way through the problems and negativity and piles of petty trash that crowd around us. We have to push our way through and reach out and touch the hem of His garment in faith. Jesus knows when YOU make contact with Him? He knows when we tap into His healing, renewing, restoring power. And He looks around for us to tell us to go in peace, be satisfied, you're whole now, all is well, be healed of what troubles you.
Reach out and Touch?
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D.D., is an ordained clergywoman, social worker, and Founder of AMEN Ministries. http://www.clergyservices4u.org. She is also the author of two coffee table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be available soon.