I TOUCHED HIS HEM (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56).
I was at the end of my wits, my means and my hope. I had turned for help to everyone that showed some glimmer of skill to help me. For twelve years, I had been bleeding constantly. Can you imagine what it meant to be a bleeding woman? No one wanted to be near me. It was as if I had been cursed. I was looked upon as someone that was being punished for some sin I was not aware of. Now that my money and material means were gone even physicians kept their distance. And when they treated me with their remedies and physical methods, I felt more discomfort from their treatments than from my disease. Day and night, I was a burden to myself and to those that loved me.
One day, I heard that there was a man from Galilee that was making people well. I heard that He had magical powers over conditions worse than mine and over demons that no one has had before. I also heard that He was compassionate and tender hearted toward the sick, handicapped, out casts and to women in dire need. I had the qualifications that fitted what I had heard. But how was I to get near this man called Jesus of Nazareth? I had no one I could send and invite Him to come my way. I gathered my strength and set out to find Him. I do not recall how many days and nights I spend on the road and I do not want to remember the hardships I endured. All that I had on my mind was to get close to this man that could heal me. He was beginning to be my hope and the more I pushed on the more strength I was gaining. Do not ask me to explain where it came from. All I know was that I was getting closer to where Jesus was. What helped me was that there were many others on the road also seeking to meet Jesus. And there was always some one joining the crowd and telling us where He was coming from. And there was always someone pushing and shoving to get to the front.
My chances of seeing Jesus or getting near Him were nearly impossible. I was not tall enough to look over the heads of those that surrounded me and not strong enough to push others aside. Besides my physical limitations, twelve strong men surrounded the Nazarene and kept people away from injuring their teacher. It was then that the thought struck me, “What if I reached out between the people in front of me and merely brushed my fingers against the hem of his robe?” I made several attempts but my arms were not long enough. Still I kept on reaching. When my attempts appeared hopeless, I felt a sudden push and my fingers brushed against Jesus’ garment. Immediately, I felt a surge of energy flood my body. It was as if someone had poured a pail of cool water over me on a hot day. I felt literally my bleeding drying up. While I was experiencing this remarkable and strange healing, the procession stopped and Jesus began to look about and I knew he was looking for me. Then came the question that made me tremble and fear at the same time, “Who touched my robe?”
Jesus’ question stunned every body but me. The spokesman of the bodyguards suggested that the crowd was just pushing and it would be impossible to single out one individual. But Jesus was not buying his suggestion. He insisted that this was different. Someone had sapped Him of some energy. Someone had drawn strength for healing and He wanted to meet that person. I knew there and then that I had to come forward and confess that my touching the fringe of His garment freed me from infirmity. I came and fell at His feet and let everyone know what had happened to me. To my surprise, the Master had nothing but kind words for me. Before everyone, He called me, “Daughter” and recognized my faith as the key to my healing. Then he told me to go in peace. Yes, Jesus had not only healed my sick body but also brought peace to my bitter and restless soul. Above all, He stopped for me while on His way to save a ruler’s daughter from dying. I, little insignificant me, was important to him. He could have gone on and I too would have been grateful for the healing. But Jesus wanted every one to know that He could be touched in spite of the crowds and obstacles. In the end, it was not how much faith I had but how I used it. I used mine to touch the Son of God and was made whole.
At the time, I touched the hem of Jesus’ robe I did not expect to impact others with my touch of faith. I was pleasantly surprised that I was included in Jesus’ accounts of the different people He has helped. My story traveled far and wide and encouraged others to touch Jesus by faith in whatsoever manner one is able. Even the slightest touch of anything that belongs to Jesus has healing power and brings peace. And His words are endowed with kindness and understanding. He knows our needs and He will stop when we reach for Him. Sooner than later, He will pass your way. He will end up close enough to be touched. Even the smallest brushing against His promises will heal you of your diseases and free you of our sins. It has happened to me and it will happen to you too. Faith has no limits.