Recently, I’ve been reading through Mark in the bible and last week, I specifically read the story of the ill woman who touched Jesus and was healed (Mark 5).
Quick summary of the story: a man comes to Jesus and asks him to heal his dying daughter. Jesus pushes through crowds who are now a constant, they’ve seen his miracles and watch him going the young girl’s home. En route he is touched and immediately stops to ask who touched him. Jesus’ disciples say, “Of course, you are being touched, you’re walking through a crowd.” But Jesus knows it’s more than a crowd push, it’s a purposeful touch – a last hope, born of faith touch. A woman with a long-time medical issue admits she is the one who touched Jesus’ garment and she is immediately healed.
Reading this story I’m so challenged by how I see myself in the two representations of people.
In life, am I the crowd or am I the woman? Sure, the crowd was all walking the same way Jesus was. They were interested to see what he was going to do next – what miracle he was going to perform. They bumped into him on the way, but generally were just headed in the same direction. It’s really easy to fall into the Jesus crowd. To walk in his general way but to be no different than the hundreds of others that are walking in his direction. The crowd is mostly there for the show – they’ve never seen anyone do what he can do. Sometimes they are walking with him, doubting he can do what he’s heading to do, unsure that it can really be done. “Can I really trust God to heal my illness/restore my marriage/help my broken relationship/save my job?”
Or am I the woman – the one who fought the crowd of strong men to get the closest to Jesus and in an act of faith, to reach out and touch his clothing. She put herself out there with the faith that Jesus was all she needed for complete healing. She didn’t get caught watching the magic show that was Jesus’ miracles – she wasn’t an observer, she made herself a participant. She took action and put her own miracle in action.
I’ve been noodling this and asking myself some challenging questions: Do I push myself in my faith – trusting God can do anything? Do I get caught jostling between other members of the crowd – in the middle of the hoopla – or am I pushing towards a focused goal – an intimate, personal encounter with Him?