A large group of people followed. They crowded around him. 25 A woman was there who had a sickness that made her bleed. It had lasted for 12 years. 26 She had suffered a great deal, even though she had gone to many doctors. She had spent all the money she had. But she was getting worse, not better. 27 Then she heard about Jesus. She came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothes. 28 She thought, “I just need to touch his clothes. Then I will be healed.” 29 Right away her bleeding stopped. She felt in her body that her suffering was over.
30 At once Jesus knew that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd. He asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people,” his disciples answered. “They are crowding against you. And you still ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
32 But Jesus kept looking around. He wanted to see who had touched him.
33 Then the woman came and fell at his feet. She knew what had happened to her. She was shaking with fear. But she told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, “Dear woman, your faith has healed you. Go in peace. You are free from your suffering.” Mark 5:24b-34
I love this story. I love the faith displayed in the woman’s actions; I love the tenderness and compassion we see from Jesus; I love the ultimate power displayed from him. And I love the evidence that faith truly can move mountains.
Its so encouraging to me that all I need is to barely encounter Jesus, through faith, in order to see drastic changes in my life…in myself. Just by reaching out in faith and touching the proverbial hem of his robe I have access to his almighty, healing power.
Yet there are times I feel that is all I encounter of him – the hem. I rely on the fact that I can reach out in distress, touch his robe, and be healed from the malady of the moment. He is faithful to intervene; to inject his mighty power into my life, my heart, my situation and move mountains. With just a hem!
But I wonder how much more wonderful it will be to encounter him face to face? I want more than just the hem of his robe. I want to be swept up into his embrace and fully accept all of who he is, even if I don’t fully grasp the greatness of it. I want to lean in close, head to his chest, and listen to the beat of his heart. Remaining there until the beat of mine matches the beat of his. Until what grieves him grieves me. Until what brings him joy fills my cup to overflowing.
I am so vastly grateful for the power that can be found in just the hem. Meaning I don’t have to be in a perfect state of mind and heart to approach him. I can come in my dirty, foul, bleeding mess when I lack the strength to stand or even call out to him. I can simply reach up a hand, weak and trembling, and he answers.
But I want more.
In this dark world in which we live it sometimes seems as though the hem is all of Jesus we have access to. It’s hard to see his face among the incomprehensible evil surrounding us. It seems as though the hem – the bare minimum – is all he is offering to us. But I have a feeling that is because we are looking up from a heap on the dusty earth. We are battered and tired and weary. From our view all we can see is his robe swishing in the breeze just ahead of us. But he is all there – all present – ready to lift us to our feet, look in our eyes and speak peace.
Oh how I want so much more than just the hem of his robe.
I want to sit at the table and share the deepest parts of myself. To get beyond the surface aches and pains and get down to the real root of what ails me.
To walk the roads of this life side by side and listen to his voice.
To get beyond just the distress calls and pleas for help.
To encounter him full on, everyday…not just in times of trouble.
Oh how grateful I am for the power we can find just in the hem of his robe.
But oh how I want so much more.
Below is a song by Christy Nockels that I adore. It’s been on repeat on my iPod for days. Some days this is my anthem – a resounding love song from my heart to His. Other days, it’s my prayer – I want to be able to sing these words with all sincerity. I pray it blesses you as it has me.