from Luke 8:43-48…
“Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed…”
Did you catch that in the story?
There is a story in the bible about Jesus arriving to a place to find a crowd of people who were “all expecting him.” We are told that a man in the crowd pleads with Jesus to come to his house to heal his daughter who was dying, and so off they go.
However, the story reports that the crowds around Jesus “almost crushed him” as he walked through them. In the middle of this sea of people, one woman’s quiet attempt to touch the edge of Jesus’s cloak in hope for healing was noticed.
What was outcome? Who was the woman? Why is this story important? What kind of faith did she have?
I think I’ll focus on the fact that she was even noticed at all…
Something happened when this woman touched “the edge of his cloak,” but it sounds like a lot of people were doing that. In fact, this story seems to lean towards the idea that she was even trying to go unnoticed. So what was different about this woman? Something must have been different because Jesus asked a question that He did not need to ask.
“Who touched me?”
Why ask the question? I believe He knew the answer to that question, and I believe He knew exactly who touched Him. I believe He knew she was going to touch Him from the moments of her very first breath, so why ask the question?
Was it so that He would know the answer, or did He ask so that the people around Him would stop and notice?
For some in the crowd, there may have been a problem with noticing. There may have been a problem because according to the Jewish belief this woman did not have the ability to approach God. This woman’s type of brokenness made her unclean to worship God in the temple and the religious people of the day were not allowed to even touch her or they would be considered unclean as well. But, that didn’t stop Jesus…
So what can I find in this short encounter?
I find presence…
It tells me to be aware and present with the needs right in front of me (even if I’m on my way to serving someone else).
It tells me that being present draws people towards more than just physical healing.
“seeing that she could not go unnoticed, [she] came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him…He said to her, “Daughter, you faith has healed you. Go in peace.“
She spoke of physical healing, but I think Jesus is talking about something far greater.
It tells me that God’s reaction to brokenness is to engage in it where ever it is even if that brokenness is found along a road leading to engaging brokenness.
Little redundant? Maybe, but be patient with me as I am still “pursuing” this concept of “presence” and it has not been easy. It hasn’t been easy because my presence is not just physical; it is also found in the awareness of what is around me. There is just so much to do (Jesus was on His way to heal a girl who was literally dying, so did He really have time to stop? Regardless, He did).
For me, being present is a really easy concept to understand, but I’m feeling like it may be impossible to actually accomplish. However, maybe I’m supposed to “accomplish” presence. Maybe, just maybe, being present means that I have nothing that needs to be accomplished.
I will continue to pursue with the hope that it will be found…