She carefully lifted her weary body off her sleeping mat. Stretching, she put away her things and attended to her morning needs. She must get to the well and back before the other women were up and about, they couldn't ...wouldn't want to be near her, for fear of being declared unclean too. She sighed as she picked up her small water jug and began to make her way to the well. She had to stop to rest on the way there; two, three times. She was use to the weariness, the constant achiness that had been with her for twelve long years. Countless doctors and healers and priests had tried to heal her, but none of them had been successful. The worst part was the loneliness Unable to attend synagogue, unwelcome among even those who had been her closest friends and family, yes, the loneliness was the worst part.
As she walked slowly home from the well, she saw in the distance a group of men, walking and talking. She wondered who they were, to be out so early was unusual for a group of men. She wondered if they were part of that group of wandering teachers she had heard about. She knew that the one, the head Rabbi of the group, was said to have performed miracles. She wondered if He could help her. Better not to try, she thought, someone was sure to rebuke her for being too near others in her unclean state. But still...
All through the rest of the morning she fought with herself. She had heard so many amazing stories of healing and grace about this Rabbi Yeshua. She wanted so badly to just quench her fears and go to Him, beg Him if need be, to see if He would just ease her suffering. Just a bit. If the stories were true, He had the power, but would he? Would he, like so many others, refuse her, saying that her problems were somehow her own fault? Would He look on her with contempt... or worse, pity? But still, if there was a chance that her suffering might be eased... even just a bit, just enough that she could get thru her days without the constant fatigue and pain. It would be worth it.
She watched the crowd from a distance. She was shaking... whether from fear or anticipation, she didn't know. She was amazed at how the crowd had grown so quickly. The Rabbi and His, what did they call themselves? Oh, right, disciples... the learners. They were being pushed and jostled by the crowd. She didn't know how they were even still moving forward, the crowd was so intent on a word, a look, a touch from this humble Teacher with so much power.
She finally got up the courage to make her way to the crowd. Praying that no one would recognize her and yell for her to keep her distance, she slowly inched her way closer to Him. If she could just get close enough, if she could just touch His cloak, maybe that would be enough. Yes! That was it, she could just quietly touch the edge of His cloak. He need never know, never be offended by her and her uncleanliness. That is what she would do. She gathered herself and, determined, continued her slow path closer to Him. She was pushed and jostled, and a few times held her breath as someone seemed to start to recognize her. But no one stopped her and she set her eyes on the Teacher and continued forward. She was certain now that this would work, that all she needed to do was get a little closer... there it was! She could see the back of His cloak as He patiently made His way through the crowd. Almost there... she reached out her trembling hand and... there! She did it, she had finally reached Him, brushing her fingers across the hem of His cloak. Instantly she felt the power rush through her. She looked down at her body... the body that had betrayed her for so many years. The body that had been wracked with pain and fatigue for so long, she had forgotten what it felt like to be free of that weight. But she was! She could feel it! She was healed!!
Then she looked up, and her heart sank. He had stopped walking, and was looking around."Who touched me?" Who touched Him? Why, so many people had touched Him! He couldn't possibly mean her. But He did. "I felt the power go out of me. Who touched me?" Oh Dear GOD, He knew! What should she do?? She could never run, not with so many people. She looked up at Him, and realized that He was asking, not with anger or contempt, but with love and patience. "It was I Lord." She managed to whisper. She went on to tell Him why she had done it, and that now... she was healed! Her whole body was shaking now. All these people were silent, listening to her tell her story. What would they think? What would happen now? Would she be rebuked? Pushed farther away from the society? Stoned? But no...
"Daughter, your faith has healed you.Go in peace."
She looked up at Him again, her eyes wide with surprise. Healed. She was healed. No more was she to be cast out from her people. No more was she to endure pain and weariness... of her body or of her mind or of her spirit. No more doctors, healers, no more priests. She was healed. She wanted to throw herself at Him, kiss His feet in gratitude. Go in peace! She had peace and so much more!! Her heart leapt with joy at the realization that she had her life back. Her life! Her precious life! There was so much she wanted to do, so much she had missed in those endless twelve years... but no more! She was free to live again.
She made her way home that day, her heart singing, her mind racing. The first thing she must do was to visit the synagogue. She had a lot of praying to do.