She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. - Mark 5:27
The woman with the hemorrhage has been suffering for 12 years. We don’t know what caused her bleeding, but there must have been some pain. And some emotional suffering as well.
She was cut off from everyone. Not able to touch anyone or be touched. Unclean, they called her. How isolated she must have felt.
Isolated and ashamed.
This woman has heard about Jesus. She believes that Jesus will heal her. Somehow she knows all she has to do is touch his cloak. So with courage and faith, she risks being discovered and she goes into a crowd. And she touches Jesus.
And she is healed.
And then Jesus calls the woman "Daughter." By calling her daughter, he is telling the crowd that she is a child of God. A daughter of God. With those few words, Jesus heals her shame.
We all need healing. Our sins and wounds isolate us from each other and from God and even from ourselves. We often think we can heal ourselves or we don’t want to admit we need healing or we are afraid to even ask for it.
Some of us may feel we are not worthy to ask for healing. So unlike this woman with the hemorrhage, we play it safe and keep our pain to ourselves.
I know shame. As an incest survivor, I have carried shame around inside me all of my life. I know now that it is not my shame, but I still feel it at times and it tends to isolate me from others. Or I isolate myself.
It has taken me years to discover that not only can Jesus heal me, but Jesus wants to heal me.
It has taken me years to discover that I too am a beloved daughter of God.
When we are afraid or in pain or feeling shame, we need to remember that we are sons and daughters of God. We need to take that leap of faith, and know, deep in our hearts, that Jesus loves us and wants to heal us. We need to come to Jesus through the crowd and, with faith and confidence, reach out and touch him.
Dear Lord, help me to remember that I am your beloved daughter. Help me to have more confidence in your love and your desire to heal me. Thank you for healing my shame. Please heal all who live in shame and isolation and fear. Amen.