Based on the story of the woman with the flow of blood in Luke 8:42-48.
Once again, the doctor told her to get up. She stopped counting the number of times she was examined by physicians. “Here is the bill”, the doctor said. The woman couldn’t look at it. She already spent so much money and went to so many doctors. What hadn’t she done? She applied dozens of ointments, chewed and swallowed many plants. They tried to scare her. They gave her different foods. Each time she hoped that this would be the treatment that would help. But, she was disappointed again. Each time she heard the same things in a different way. “You don’t believe strongly enough that you will be ok”; “You must have done something, sinned in some way. Let your husband offer another sacrifice for you”; “God is upset with you, we have nothing to do until you atone for your sin”.
The woman could no longer hear these accusations. She loved God and so longed to worship him. She was certain that He knew her heart. She tried to live a life honouring to him. But, she could no longer accept the things she was told. She also had no explanation for her bleeding which lasted for 12 years.
For 12 years, the woman could not go near her husband, touch him, be with him. She was unclean and any touch with him would make him unclean as well.
For 12 years, the woman could not celebrate holidays with her family, eat out of the same plates, touch them, sit on the same furniture, leave her room. Anything she touched, sat on, ate out of, became immediately unclean to others. Holidays were the hardest. Everyone would get organised, cleaned and purified and would go to offer a sacrifice in the Temple. She would have to stay home, alone. If she were to go out and be discovered as having a flow of blood, she could be stoned. She couldn’t take that risk. She still had the hope of being healed. That is why she spent all her money on doctors, ointments and medicines. Oh, how she suffered from them! She did everything in order to return to regular relationship with her family and friends. With God. She prayed, day and night, even at times shouting to God to heal her. She didn’t understand why. Why her, what had she done, why did she have to suffer like that? There were times she was upset with God for letting her suffer like that. Not just physically. The alienation hurt the most. At first, her husband would go with her to the doctors. He would spend money, he would pray with her, cry with her. He wanted to touch her, but he couldn’t. As the years went by, he had given up hope for her recovery. Yes, he loved her dearly. But he lost hope that there would be any change. He could no longer hear of another treatment that failed, another ointment she tried, another method that didn’t work. Even today, she tried to tell him but he just didn’t want to listen, “I’m going to my room. I’m tired”.
The woman wanted to withdraw to her room as well and was on the way when suddenly…
“Father, father!” she heard her son call. “Father is in his room. What happened?”
Her son looked at her and said, “Oh, never mind…” and then, suddenly looking at her with a pensive look, he quickly said, “Actually, yes! It does matter!” and his enthusiasm began to increase. “Yeshua has arrived in the village. Mother, you must come! If anyone can heal you, HE can!”
The woman had heard of Yeshua many times before. How could she not? All the miracles He had done, people He healed, even people He resurrected!
“Mother, please! I know, I know you’ve tried everything”, her son said excitedly. She could see the pain in his eyes, pain that until now, was hidden from her sight. Her 12 year old son, whom she never touched, never hugged, never kissed. She was afraid that touching him would make him unclean.
“Mother, I will go with you. Please come. I know He can heal you. But you must hurry, we don’t have much time!”
The woman froze. Go out? How can I? I could be stoned if people find out I have a flow of blood! But this is my chance. I might not have another, after all, Yeshua is here, in my village! And I am out of money to pay doctors. If He can’t do it, no one else can. I believe He can…but how will I do it without attracting attention to myself?
The woman suddenly felt a pull. Her little boy reached over the line separating them at home, the line setting the boundary where she could walk freely without making someone unclean, and he took her hand. He pulled her, looked into her eyes and said “We are leaving!”
The woman quickly covered her head and face to avoid being recognised. She walked quickly, trying to keep up with her son. There were so many people and she didn’t want to lose him. Then, she saw Him. She saw Yeshua and someone was talking to him. It seemed He was on the way to someone’s house. No! I must go now, I will touch the fringes of His tassels. That way no one will notice me. I know that by touching even the fringes, I will be healed!
The woman hurried, everyone was pushing one another, there was no room to move. Oh, how she was scared! She reached out and touched the fringes of His tassels. Immediately she felt an unexplainable sensation take over her. She knew she had been healed. Her flow of blood stopped! She immediately felt a newness in her body. Oh what an incredible feeling!
But then, Yeshua turned around asking, “Who touched me?” Oh, no! He knows! She thought. What shall I do? His disciples said to Him “the multitude is pushing you and you ask who touched you?” But Yeshua looked at her, knowing power had gone from Him.
The woman approached Him, trembling. There was no reason to hide it from Him. He knew all things. She fell on her knees before Him and told Him everything. She knew everyone could hear her, see her, they could stone her. She made them all unclean. And by touching his garment, she made Him unclean as well. The world seemed to be silent around her, she couldn’t hear anyone but Him.
Yeshua looked at her and said “My daughter, go in peace. Your faith has saved you”.
The world seem to come alive again, and was full of noise. She looked around and it appeared people didn’t really notice her or what she said. She arose, with strength she hadn’t felt in 12 years. Her son grabbed onto her strongly, and hugged her … a hug he had been waiting to give for 12 years. She wrapped her arms around him and praised God in her heart. She realised it wasn’t touching the garment that healed her. It was her faith in Yeshua, in who He is. She knew at that moment that all the things she had heard throughout the years about her lack of faith, all the guilt and accusations thrown at her, were lies.
She was reassured at that moment of God’s love for her. Yeshua loved her and made sure to tell her that her faith had saved her.
The woman hurried back home with her son. Her husband was walking around restlessly, worried. He didn’t know where she had gone and was fearful for her life. When he saw her and their little son hugging her, he wanted to take him from her arms right away, but then the boy told him all that had happened. Her husband looked at her in amazement, with tears in his eyes. For the first time in 12 years, he hugged his wife, and they all knew that the family would all be well now.
The woman returned to her relationship with her husband, her family, and most importantly, with God. How she waited to celebrate the holidays again and to go up to Jerusalem for the sacrifices.
Not long after that, she stood once again in the midst of a bustling, but now raging crowd. This time the crowd did not try to draw near to Yeshua, but looked at Him in contempt hanging on a cross. The woman saw His flow of blood on the cross, remembering how He healed her and gave her a renewed life with her family. She knew that this act now, His death, His flow of blood had significance far beyond what she could comprehend at the moment. But, in time, when He rose from the dead, when His disciples shared the glorious news, she understood. It was all in accordance with the Scriptures. He loved us, He gave Himself for us, He died for us and shed His blood, He conquered sin and death, and by faith in what He has done, we not only have new life, but eternal life with Him.
© Hannah Kramer