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A nameless woman in the New Testament has always pulled on my heart. Ever since I was in middle school, the story of the hemorrhaging woman has captivated me. What is remarkable about her story in three of the four gospels is that it is a small, snapshot type of recorded miracle caught in one of the busiest days of Jesus’ earthly ministry. One thing I can know from this nameless, brave, heroic woman is that nothing, absolutely nothing, is random-woman-in-the-middle-east . No such thing as a “random act of kindness” for Jesus! Her story is best told in Mark 5:25-34.

Before you read her story in Mark, I want to set the stage, so to speak. I sat down with the Lord one afternoon to have a talk about this nameless, hemorrhaging woman. As I did, I wrote down my thoughts as to how I picture this not so random woman coming to Jesus. Here are my thoughts:

I see her in slow motion like it is shown in the movies where everything around this woman is a blur. The camera is entirely focused on the sick and unclean woman. The faces and noises surrounding her are blurred. People are saying something, but we cannot make out  their exact words. Colors of clothing all run together. Total oblivion to anyone and anything except for her mesmerizes our view. She is searching, longing, desperate to find something, someone…to make the bleeding stop.

Her heart is racing a million miles an hour. She knows in her head she is restricted from being in public because of her condition. But, she is compelled – more like forced from an outside being – like a mother who is searching frantically for a lost child. She is helpless yet not without hope. She doesn’t even have time to wrestle with her thoughts. Can’t even bring herself to accept the idea that this too may not work. Just as a searching mother of a lost child believes she will soon wrap her clinging arms around her child, so this nameless woman believes by faith she will be healed. She can’t figure out how, she just has a deep conviction that, He, Jesus, will stop the bleeding.

There’s a bridge she must find that takes her from this side of pain and suffering  she’s known for the past 12 years, across the valley of the shadow of death to the other side of complete wholeness. She’s never been more ready to receive this free gift of love. She’s literally broke from the price she’s paid for man to unsuccessfully heal her. Doesn’t matter anymore what others think or even say about her. She can’t go another day inside the prison of herself. She is convinced the stories she has heard about Jesus are to be the truth – no bother trying to sway her otherwise. He will be there for her. Before she ever lays eyes on Him, she knows Him to be her Healer, her Deliverer, her Rescuer, her Help in trouble. Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals.

As she approaches the crowd, she loses her breath and her footing at the same time. She falls to the ground and injures her foot. The pain in her heart is much more  intense than the pain in her ankle. Her faith drives her to keep going, not to give up now. She crawls on her hands and feet disturbing and contaminating those along her path. The bridge is nearing…it looks confining, but nothing will stop her now. Someone is trying to pull her back. Shame is yelling at her that she doesn’t deserve this kind of love. Loneliness whispers in her ear that “He” isn’t safe. Mockery laughs in her face at her pitiful site. Hate is pounding on the door of her heart. Death presides over her pronouncing: “You will bleed to death.” The evil voices encompassing her do not define her anymore. “Enough!” She proclaims aloud. “Enough! My Jesus saves and He will save me!” Her authoritative words come out clearly for the heavenlies to know.

The ache in her heart lessens its grip. The darkness in her soul is disappearing allowing the light to seep through. Her breath returns to her. The blurriness in her eyes is clearer. How much further until she reaches Him? She doesn’t want to wait another second. Her faith is at its strongest point. She’s convinced herself all she has to do is touch the hem of His garment and it will be enough to forever heal her sick, bleeding, embarrassing body. Just one touch will make the bleeding forever stop.

“And a woman was there…” (Mark 5:25)

Jennifer Johnson

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"To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen." -Revelations 1:5b-6

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