She was weary and worried. The never-ending loss of blood left her weak and frail.
There’s no mention of a husband or a family. I wonder if her husband had left her alone, divorced. Were there children?
Or maybe, the hemorrhaging began when she was just a girl, before she was wed to her childhood sweetheart. When her nasty condition persisted, he turned his back. Was she approaching middle-aged with no prospects or possibilities?
She was alone. Afraid. If she didn’t get help soon, she would be dead.
The Levitical law condemned her as “unclean” (Leviticus 15:19-31)! Anyone and anything she touched was polluted, poisoned, contaminated. Consequently, she was a pariah. Like a leper she was excluded, excommunicated. Most folks in the market refused her business. The synagogue was off-limits. A trip to Jerusalem and the holy temple were unthinkable. Like the woman at Sychar (John 4), she made a solitary trek to the well at noon.
Her nightmare had lingered for twelve miserable years. Once, long ago, she had a small nest-egg, a few dollars in savings. That was gone. The piggybank was empty. She’d spent everything on doctors who prescribed their superstitious, home-spun remedies. They had defiled her and subjected her to painful and humiliating nonsense. “There’s a doctor in the next town,” her neighbor had reported. “Maybe he can help you.” He helped her out of a few dollars, but the hemorrhaging continued. She’d suffered “from bleeding for twelve years and endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse” (Mark 5:25-26).
After twelve years, she was giving up. That’s when she “heard about Jesus” (Mark 5:27). The rambling rabbi had reportedly healed others. The leper, the paralytic, and the blind were all made whole. Healed. Restored. She could be too!
Her village on the western shore of Galilee was buzzing with excitement the day Jesus visited. Today was her chance. Hidden by the shawl wrapped around her face, she pushed and pressed to get close to Jesus. Maybe, she thought, she could fall at his feet and beseech His miraculous intervention and maybe she’d hear His compassionate words.
But Jesus was on a mission. He was going to the home of the wealthy and powerful synagogue leader, Jairus. She was poor. Jairus was powerful. He’d enjoyed twelve years with his lively, little daughter. She’d endured twelve years of hell. The Rabbi would give Jairus His attention, but, she thought, she might be left alone.
So, she used her last ounce of strength to push through the crowds. Reaching out, she swiped the hem of his coat. “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well” (Mark 5:28). She was. Instantly, a long-forgotten strength returned. Her pale skin turned pink. Her stooped back straightened. The old woman was miraculously transformed into a beautiful, vibrant, young lady.
Though she thought of moving away anonymously, Jesus gave her an opportunity to share her story, to make a public profession of her saving faith. “Who touched me?” (Luke 8:45). Attentively and compassionately Jesus looked into her eyes. “The woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth” (Mark 5:33). Her testimony, no doubt, was encouragement to all, but especially to Jairus.
“Your faith has saved you. Go in peace. … Don’t be afraid. Only believe” (Luke 8:48, 50)
His grace is sufficient for all… for rich and poor, strong and weak, for her… and for us!