The Woman Who Dared to Touch God

By on January 1, 2015
woman with blood issue touching Jesus' robe

By Carole Towriss−

Rivkah closed her eyes against the pain and grabbed her belly. “I’m sorry. Can you repeat that?”

The physician shook his head. “There’s nothing further we can do for you. We’ve done all we can do.” He held out his hand.

She retrieved the thin bag tucked into her belt then untied the string. Blinking away the tears she dumped out the coins. Picking out the one of least value, she dropped the rest into the man’s hand.

He frowned, but closed his hand over the silver and left the room.

She followed him, exiting the room and then the house of the latest in a long line of learned men that had been unable to alleviate her suffering for the past twelve years.

Twelve years of pain. Twelve years of blood. Twelve years of uncleanness.

Her mind went back to the day her husband locked her out of their home. She was unable to care for their children, being perpetually unclean. He divorced her and took another wife. She hadn’t been to the temple, hadn’t been to the market, hadn’t been invited to the home of a friend … hadn’t been touched, by anyone other than a physician, for twelve years.

Over four thousand days.

She leaned her hand against the wall of the house, hoping for a place to sit down. Finding an alley, she slid to the ground.

A young boy playing near her stopped and stared.

She beckoned him, then held her hand palm out to stop him several strides away. She showed him her last coin. “Can you buy me a loaf of bread?”

He smiled and nodded, started to come near.

“No!” She tossed the coin.

He frowned, but picked it up and raced off.

She swiped the tears from her cheeks. That was the last of her money. Back to begging tomorrow. How she hated begging. The looks. The judgment. The scorn.

The boy returned with a loaf of bread and a brick of cheese.

She stopped him again. “Lay it down there. You can’t get too close.”

He laid it down and backed away.

She stretched to grab the food, then ripped into the bread, still warm. She leaned back against the wall and savored it. Who knew when she would eat again?

“Are you sick?”

She whipped her head toward the sound. Why was he still here?

“Are you sick?” the boy repeated.

She cleared her throat. “Yes, I’m very sick. That’s why you must stay away.” She shooed him, but he didn’t move.

“You should go see Jesus.”

“Who?”

“Jesus. He’s healed lots of people.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Really?” That couldn’t be true.

“Where is he?”

“He’s on his way back here, to Capernaum.”

“You’ve seen him heal people?”

“Not me. People I know.”

Rivkah shook her head. “I have no money left. I gave you my last coin.”

“He doesn’t take money.” His eyes widened. “He is God.”

He is God. The words sank into her heart.

God could heal me.

“Can you take me to him?”

He smiled. “Come on. He’s coming on a boat from the other side of the lake.” They headed that way, but before they arrived, a large crowd moved toward the synagogue. They joined the human swarm.

She stood on her toes. “I can’t see. What’s going on?”

“I’ll find out.” The boy disappeared, only to return a moment later. “Jairus, the synagogue leader, has asked Jesus to heal his daughter.”

Rivkah’s chest constricted. If they made it to the temple, she would never be allowed in, never get to Jesus. Too many people there knew her, knew her situation. But this crowd was full of people from out of town, and besides, they were all paying attention to Jesus, not her. It was now or never.

If Jairus believes He can heal his daughter, He can heal me.

Rivkah squirmed and twisted and wiggled her way to the front. Tall men with broad shoulders blocked her way. I don’t even have to talk to him. I just have to touch Him. Not even Him, just His clothes. She knelt low … stretched out her hand … reached for His cloak … she was jostled away. One more time … she fingered the tassel.

Warmth spread throughout her body. She stood. Strength flooded her. People shoved her, but she remained standing.

Jesus halted. “Who touched me?”

Oh, no.

“Master, everyone is touching you. The crowd is large,” a disciple answered.

“No, power left me.” Jesus turned. “Who touched me?”

Rivkah studied His face. His eyes. Did He condemn her?

No, His eyes were gentle. He only wanted to know who was healed.

No—He knew. He wanted her to tell Him.

Dare she admit she touched Him while she was unclean? She could be stoned. Trembling, she sucked in a deep breath. “I touched you. I have been healed.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The story of the nameless woman with the “issue of blood” is told in Luke 8, Mark 5, and Matthew 9. She had faith enough to defy every social convention and law in place at that time to go into that crowd to reach Jesus. Everyone she touched, including Jesus, should have been rendered ritually unclean.

But Jesus did not punish her; he healed her. He recognized her faith and her courage. Many people touched him that day. Some of them surely were sick, but she is the only one in that crowd who is recorded as being healed. After twelve years of seeking a cure, and only getting worse, she could still rise above her despair, and seek God.

Whatever your situation is, there is still hope in God. Worry accomplishes nothing. Instead, take your concerns, cares and worries to Him. He is always there for you.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT

 

You can find out more about Carole’s Biblical fiction novels at http://www.caroletowriss.com/.

About Carole Towriss

Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, watches chick flicks, and waits for summertime to return to the beach. You can find out more about her Biblical fiction novels at http://www.caroletowriss.com/.

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The Woman Who Dared to Touch God