This morning, I came to the story in Luke 8 where a woman who has suffered from bleeding for years is healed by Jesus. The unusual part of this story is that the woman doesn’t come and talk to Jesus but instead tries to sneak up from behind him and just touch his robe. She had tried everything else and sounds like a woman desperate and willing to try anything. But she doesn’t seem to want to come before Jesus (understandable considering her condition). The story goes that she touches the hem of Jesus’ robe, he feels power “leave him” and she is healed. Jesus seeks her out and affirms her faith and assures her. It’s a beautiful story, but there is something in it that spoke to me about how we are open (or not) about our needs with others.
Speaking from personal experience, many of us (I’m guilty of this in a big way) go through our lives trying to just be shadows when it comes to our own needs. When something arises, we sometimes don’t feel like we want to “burden” others with our problems. I have done this in my own life too many times, including times when I absolutely needed others, but was afraid or unwilling to open up to others. In fact, my enneagram type (5) is one that has a very hard time letting others know what is going on with me. I have seen this from others as they are going through a difficult time and don’t want any help because “everyone is so busy” or “others have their own problems” or a host of other things.
The woman in this story was trying to be nothing more than a shadow who would touch the hem of Jesus’ clothing and then disappear into the crowd once more. But Jesus doesn’t chastise her or get angry with her, but he loves her. He assures her of the healing and the compassion he has for her. This story reminded me of my own willingness to open up to others (or lack thereof) and to Jesus about the struggles and needs of life.