What We Really Need
The crowded road looms long and dusty. She is weary. But she has come too far and endured too much to turn back now. Rejection, loss, pain, heartache. Even now, she feels herself shrinking back from the jostling desperation of the crowd. She has nothing. No one. This should mean, she supposes, that she has nothing to lose. Instead, it feels like the stakes are impossibly high. She presses on, despite her pain and fear. All she needs, she thinks, is one corner of his cloak. A touch from this man she has heard about and longed for with a newfound hope fluttering in her chest.
Pressing down her fear, she wills her weary bones forward through the throng of people. She reaches out and just barely brushes his cloak and suddenly, it is finished. She feels a rush from her head to her toes, knows that whatever has been eating her insides for so long has been banished. She is healed, she is certain of it. She allows herself, exhausted and disbelieving to slow while the crowd presses on.
Tears prick her eyes. But then he stops, abruptly, and asks “who touched me? “ She stays silent, afraid. Surely he wouldn’t take away the gift she wrought from his hem. The crowd murmurs, but no one steps forward. Her feet are rooted to the dusty ground.
“But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.” One of his disciples, clearly exasperated, speaks up.
Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power come out of me.”
She trembles, knowing he is speaking about her. Knowing her bleeding had finally, blessedly stopped. Knowing she had to risk giving up the miracle wrought inside her by using her voice when for so long she had been silent. It was me, she finally shouts, above the din of the crowd. She steps forward on shaky legs and tells them everything. About the ways she has been rejected and emptied. Embarrassed, she tells the crowd about how she has lost everything trying to be made well. Her voice trembles and she locks her eyes on his dark kind ones, trying to ignore the many around them.
What does he want? She wonders. It is finished, she is well. He has already given her everything she needed.
His eyes soften further, the dust across his brow glistens in the hot sun. Their eyes meet, and he utters the words she didn’t know she needed even more than her healing: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” This man, the one sought after by the crowds and followed closely by a pack of chosen disciples, he called her daughter. She feels something else deep in her gut, a realization, an awakening. She thought she needed her bleeding stopped, but He knew she needed to be seen.
She wonders at the miracle of this man, surely more than a man. Big tears slip down her cheeks and she runs one word over her heart again and again: Daughter. She has lost so much, and with one word he not only stopped her bleeding, he restored her identity. She is chosen, loved. Whole. And for the rest of her days, she will never stop telling everyone she meets about the kind eyes and unshakable power of this Jesus.