Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. Matthew 9:20-22
According to our societal and cultural rules, who in the world would you want not to touch you? A person who has been forced to live on the streets and has not had an opportunity to care for and clean their body? A person with a communicable disease? The one who broke your heart and has not apologized? A stranger who comes too close? From whom do our societal mores distance us?
In Jesus’ time, women and men were kept at a distance. In fact, a woman was never to touch a man in public. And a woman who was discharging blood was ceremonially unclean, and was kept out of the public at all costs. There were even penalties, including death, if a woman knowingly “contaminated” her surroundings by not following the rules. But the woman in Matthew 9 had great courage, and even greater faith. This woman was willing to take a chance.
What does this story bring up for you? Is there someone you want to reach out and touch or someone who has reached out to you? Might you exercise faith and courage and offer or receive that touch? It is never easy to take a chance, but in the instance of the woman in Matthew 9, the outcome was miraculous. May it be so for you and for me when we act with courage and faith.