Catching up on some things that I had been noodling on for the last few days. Monday’s readings aligned maybe more than any of the others that we have seen thus far. Two chapters of Leviticus, a chapter of Mark, and then Psalm 38. Mark has the story of the woman who is healed from her bleeding and then Psalm 38:1-22 is the Psalm for the day. As I read the words from that Psalm, while I know it says that it is a Psalm of David, I could imagine the same words being lifted up by that unnamed woman in Mark.
This poor woman had been bleeding for years, had likely tried everything people had suggested to her, and because of the laws about uncleanness (which are detailed in today’s readings in Leviticus as well), she would have been excluded from the community. Imagine the weight that was upon her. Imagine the isolation. Imagine the grief. Imagine the anger. Imagine the hurt. Imagine how alone she must have felt.
All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. My heart pounds, my strength fails me; even the light has gone from my eyes. My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay far away… For I am about to fall, and my pain is ever with me…LORD, do not forsake me; do not be far from me, my God. Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior.Psalm 38
Doesn’t take much to imagine those words being her words.
But what I love in the Mark story is that Jesus calls her out – not to rebuke her or to embarrass her but instead to free her. Jesus makes this public declaration that she has been healed and made well. It is an attestation that she can allow her to return from “outside the camp.” It is the light that shines upon her and gives hope.