By Brook Ardoin
I am nameless.
Not much is said of my life…of who I am, who I have been, and what I have endured.
I have spent the greater portion of my life without a husband to hold or lay next to through the night.
I have been someone’s daughter, my only true title in life.
I keep to myself having no real friends.
Loneliness has been my best friend for years.
I have spent over a dozen years looking at blood…my own blood.
Cleaning it off my sheets and clothing by hand every day and night, often many times a day.
I sometimes feel so much shame because I have to go without clothing in my home.
On the days, the few articles of clothing I did own were still wet from having been washed.
Cleaning my legs, down to my feet from so much blood was a regular occurrence.
You see, I am the woman with the issue of blood.
I have been hemorrhaging for twelve long years.
No one has understood my suffering.
I am always weak…fragile.
What some never noticed is that it has been much more than just the hemorrhaging, for it says I suffered many things due to this condition.
I am anemic due to so much blood loss.
The pain has been endless, at times so unbearable I have even wanted to die many times over.
A multitude of physical ailments has plagued me because of this.
I have visited too many physicians to count, and not one of them has been able to help me. It has only grown worse over time.
Sickness has become the largest part of who I am.
Actually, it has become all that I am – a breathing body, riddled with disease and illness.
All else that made me something more has long since vanished from my existence.
I have been mocked, ridiculed, deemed unclean by law.
I have been prohibited from fellowship with others and even from the worship of God.
Family and the few who used to be close friends cannot touch me.
Twelve long years of nothing but endless isolation.
Hunger has become a vicious enemy, for I have nothing left.
Stricken with poverty, I have spent all that I have, the little it was, on the many physicians who could do nothing for me.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I am drained…finished.
My tears of hopelessness flood where I lay my head each night.
Then one day like every other, racked with pain and desperation, it somehow reached my ears that the worker of miracles would soon be arriving in town.
Stories of previous miracles performed by His hand had long been the whispering words on the lips of many.
What if I were able to meet the miracle worker?
Could He, or would He help me as He has so many before me?
What were the chances in my debilitative state that I could even make the walk to meet Him in time?
How could He touch me to make me whole, as I am unclean?
Could I make it through the vast crowd remaining unnoticed since I am banned from human contact?
With a crowd that is sure to be large, would I get through without touching anyone?
Oh, but the only spark of hope has now set in my thoughts… it is too much to ignore.
I will do the unthinkable. I have to do the unthinkable.
I will exert the last bit of energy within my bones to try, even if it kills me.
I feel I have nothing left to live for anyway.
As I made my way out on my journey, I could hear the rumble of the great crowd in the near distance.
I knew that this must be the place where the Master would arrive.
That was the name I once heard that I liked most… Master.
There were so many people gathered as I slowly struggled making my way towards them.
I was not so certain I would make it, for the pain and weakness is consuming me.
I feared the blood would find its way to my sandals, or possibly through my clothes as it has so many times before.
Yet, I keep pressing on.
I finally make it to all the people, the only scarf I own covering my head.
More anxiety began to take hold of me as I worried I may be spotted for being in a public place filled with so many people.
There would no doubt be consequences, and I may miss the Master if I am caught.
The risk far outweighed the consequence and with racing heart, I carefully made my way through the sea of people.
Speaking of sea, I stopped for a minute as I set my sights upon the Sea of Galilee.
I took in the beautiful picture before me.
The dust-ridden floors of my tiny home had become the view I had seen most these last several years.
Visits to physicians were the only time spent outside my home to view any beauty in the world.
Not only because I am unclean, but also because of all the illness and symptoms related have kept me prisoner in my home.
My thoughts were broken, as suddenly the crowd grew silent.
I could hear the loud, sobering cries of a man’s voice.
As I approached, the crowd still thick, I was able to get close enough to catch a glimpse of the distraught man.
His clothing informed me that he was a leader in the synagogue.
He appeared in awful distress.
I heard a few around me saying that his daughter was dying and he had come to beg the help of the Master as well, His name being Jesus.
That was when I realized I had made it so close to Him.
The silence of the crowd ceased as the man finished speaking, and the two of them began trying to move through the crowd.
Oh no, I must hurry, I have come so far.
I made my way around the last few that stood between the Master and me.
As He and the leader started slowly on their way, His back to me, I was now within reach.
All sense of weakness, fatigue, and pain left me in that moment, as my heart began to pound within my chest again.
I knew this was my only chance.
This was my last chance – I will certainly die if this opportunity escapes me.
As my hand reached out to meet with His garment, all I could think was if only I may touch the Masters clothes,I will be made well.
Instantly, a surge of power so intense, so glorious, raced through my entire body like nothing I have ever felt before.
I immediately felt the blood dry up from within me.
All physical impairments vanished in the blink of my eyes.
For weakness, I felt strength. Relief replaced all pain. My head became free of the dizziness due to hunger and anemia, and that hunger became as if I had been fed.
I had taken some steps back from Him and I could only stand there shaking, looking down upon the body that had failed me for so long.
I was so awestruck at everything that happened to me all at once and so quickly, I had not noticed that He had turned around.
That is when I heard Him ask who had touched His clothes?
He asked with such authority… such confidence as if He knew I had been on a mission.
I looked up and my eyes lay upon the One who was spoken of for so many years – indeed this was the Messiah that had been promised.
He was speaking to His brethren about me, still insisting someone had touched Him.
I grew nervous and fear welled up within me as I realized what I had done in touching the Master as an unclean woman.
What would He say? What would He do? What may be done to me for this transgression I have committed?
Everyone will soon find me out and know the truth of who I am.
The shaking earlier caused from the power of Jesus, was substituted by trembling caused by my fear.
In my mind, I was sure He would never notice such a light, brief touch of my hand.
There had been countless people pressing against Him only moments before I touched Him.
How could He know?
As His eyes grazed through the crowd, I then knew from the determination upon His face, He would never bypass me.
Expectedly, His eyes met mine. No doubt, He recognized the great fear causing me to tremble.
Right away, I was drawn to Him as I fell before Him… fell at the feet of the One who saved my life.
Little did I imagine at this time He had just saved more than my physical vessel.
Tears rolled down my face.
An overwhelming sense of confession came over me.
I could hardly speak as I began telling Him the entire story… I would skip nothing.
Somehow, I knew that He already knew, but I continued speaking.
I could feel the fear begin to subside as what I recognized as peace began entering in.
When I was finished speaking, still on the ground, I opened my eyes to a blurry, tear-filled outline of His sandals.
I suddenly felt His hand upon my shoulder.
Remaining on my knees, I slowly sat up and back upon my heels.
That is when it struck me…He was touching ME.
For the first time in over a dozen years, someone willingly touched me – the one whom had been untouchable.
As I looked up into His eyes, He said, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague”.
There was an abundance of love in those words as He smiled at me.
It was also the first time in many years that I was able to return the smile and mean it.
I could not recall the last time I was even able to smile.
I have never felt such love, joy, and peace as in this moment.
I arose as He abruptly had to turn His attention toward another, for He was in dire need elsewhere now.
I stood there watching as He began walking away, seemingly instructing the crowd He be not followed, for they once again clamored for His attention.
There would be no repercussions…no consequences of my actions.
My life started today. I can only imagine what lies ahead.
He would no longer be considered “the” Master.