Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Touch

Mark 5:21-34 The Message (Go and read it!)

I followed behind Him, back from the crowd, shame covering me like a coat of ashes. I shuffled along in time, like it was a funeral procession. He seemed so far away.

Bleeding.

There was something rotten between my legs. I couldn't touch myself without the blood staining my fingertips. Oh, God. To bleed and bleed and never die? How long can I live this way? No one ever touches me, and I don't touch. I'm unclean. My scent announces my foulness before I arrive. Oh dear God.

This sorrow is all I have left. I have spent all, and nothing--nothing gave relief. I just want a little respite. A taste of freedom from this fountain of sewage corrupting me. One moment clean. I press closer to Him, and men and women turn their faces away from me. They know. Jesus, they know and move away from me. But it gets me closer to You.

I push closer, and shoulders and faces, and bodies give way. The word splits my skull open unclean...unclean...unclean. I grab my head, trying not to hear. Trying to pull my head together and bind it with spit and snot and tears. God! Heal me or let me die. *Nobody* touches me. I am

UNCLEAN.

I stifle my scream, trapping it in my mouth. I close my eyes and push through this womb of people toward God.

Pushing, fighting my way, I am angry and offensive, but He is not far. That awful word propels me to Him. Unclean. I push like a force is drawing me until I am there, in the shadow of the God-man. I'm just behind Him, close enough to touch.

What do I do? What do I do with Jesus, this rabbi who the law says I can't touch? I can't defile Him. I'm not worthy to feel his flesh beneath my fingers, but His clothes--just a touch of His clothes. My hand flies to His hem and I can't stop myself until I feel the cool, nubby texture for just a fraction of a moment.

This time I do scream, but this noisy crowd, they don't hear. I am infused with a something ineffable, uncontainable, breaking me into a billion pieces. I feel like light, and I am powerless, as my scream turns into a bubbling laughter like a brook, clean and fresh and pure. Oh, Jesus. I fall on my face, and the crowd presses on toward Him, leaving me behind. They don't notice me, but I don't care. I am clean. And this all happens so fast that I could hardly registered what He did.

He turns. "Who touched my robe?"

The disciples said, "What are You talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling You, You're asking, "Who touched Me? Dozens have touched You!"

But He went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. Looking for me. I stood, slowly, carefully. I took soft steps toward Him, and my heart beat so fast and my hands trembled so that I held them both together. How could I be sorry? I am clean.

I am before Him. God-man. I look into those wide brown eyes and crumble at His feet. "I just wanted to touch your clothes. I'm so sorry, Rabbi. I just wanted to touch the bottom of your robe." I poured out my story; my issue of blood, my deep wound, my loss and my devastation--all of it, lay in a pile at his feet. The God-man listened, until I could not take His gaze for another moment, and offered him my tears to go with my story.

His hands are rough carpenter hands.

I feel Him, and I am amazed because someone--because He, is touching me. He is holding my face in His hands. Touching my head with His. Touching. I had already been made clean, but He made made me whole, with the touch that eluded me for sooooo many years.

His voice washed over me like a flood, and his breath and laughter warmed the contours of my face. "Daughter..."

Did you hear? He called me daughter, and before I could hear the rest of what He said, my heart stood at attention, shouting, "Abba." Daddy. The God-man, He has made me daughter.

"Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague."

Live well. Live blessed.

He knew. I came for healing and He gave me wholeness. I wanted a touch, and He gave me a relationship. He gave me Himself, my Abba. My Love. I held Him, and held Him, until the crowd pushed between us, and as I watched His silhouette disappear into that throng, I still held Him.

I will never let Him go.

Call Him.
Abba.

Embracing the Daddy God.
His raga.





10 comments:

upwords said...

Oh yes. Pushing through a womb of people... Again, you silence me. He touched her. They called her unclean, but He touched her. A wonderful Daddy He is. Thanks for this wonderful image.

Blessings,
Mary G

upwords said...

Oh yes. Pushing through a womb of people... Again, you silence me. He touched her. They called her unclean, but He touched her. A wonderful Daddy He is. Thanks for this wonderful image.

Blessings,
Mary G

bobbie said...

oh claudia, you move me again this morning. it is so beautiful to hear these familiar stories through your eyes fresh and new. bless you my sassy sister!

steph said...

Oh the power of this story! The power of a love that heals it.
The pain of the bleeding inside that never ceased and only touch would stop the flow of a bleeding heart.
A reminder that He has touched this heart and stopped the bleeding and is setting it free.
Thank you fellow traveller.

Kelly said...

Claudia,

I just discovered your blog about 2 weeks ago. You probably hear this alot but...you are incredibly gifted. What an imagination and ability to communicate it. You're able to make the bible come alive in a way many people can't.
Thank you for having this blog!

Paula said...

Dear Friend, my sistie,

He touched us. He made us whole. He never turned away from our bleeding, our ragamuffin ways, our sin. Instead He touched, healing, cleansing touch.

Your words today made me cry. God has annointed your words and they speak to our soul.

I love you my sister friend.

Deb said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you...

neritia said...

You have blessed me with these words. Thanks so much for sharing it.
"Embracing the Daddy God." -- I love this too.
Thanks for visiting my site...will be back for more!

nahmix said...

I came across your blog randomly...and I am so glad. What a beautiful story!!!

Kirk said...

I enjoyed this post. This nameless woman remains one of my favorite stories of faith.