There’s a story in the New Testament that has made me angry for a lot of years. It’s the story of the bleeding woman (and how I wish I knew her name, since that’s a horrible way to be listed for-ever), who chased Jesus down while he was on his way to Jairus’ house. She touched the hem of his robe because she believed that alone could heal her from years of isolation and illness.
It says that Jesus felt that power had gone out of him, and he turned to say, “Who touched me?” She confessed that it was she who had been so bold and reckless to reach for him. But instead of berating her in front of everyone, he said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.”
She was healed on the spot. Years of discomfort, pain, uncleanliness, and social isolation: gone in an instant. She must have been overcome. And I would read it and feel so angry.
Why did she get the miracle? Why had her faith healed her? Why couldn’t my faith heal Robb? Or why couldn’t my faith even heal me, in the aftermath that shook my whole world? Is there some kind of faith spectrum, or some kind of bell curve, and the people who believe more then get more?
It made me mad. For a long time.
Earlier this week, I was sitting in the dentist’s waiting room where the Christmas music was playing entire too loudly. In between all the overplayed, nauseating pop holiday go-to songs, tucked in between Springsteen and Madonna, suddenly I heard Hillsong’s Healer. Not exactly a genre match.
In moments like these, when beauty shines where I wasn’t expecting, when it’s so subtle I might have missed it, I choose to believe it’s a gift for me. I can choose to notice. I closed my eyes to listen.
* * *
You hold my every moment.
You calm my raging seas.
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease.
I trust in you, I trust in you.
I believe You’re my healer
I believe You’re all I need.
I believe You’re my portion.
I believe you’re more than enough for me.
Jesus, you’re all I need.
Nothing is impossible for you,
You hold my world in your hands.
* * *
Suddenly, I felt a whisper in my spirit that said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.”
This Christmas, six years after my world was shaken to its core, I feel healed.
It didn’t happen overnight, it didn’t happen when I wanted it to, and it didn’t happen for me the same way it happened for the bleeding woman. But it has happened.
The healing came in the hard work, hundreds of hours of counseling and therapy and intention.
The healing came in telling the story a thousand times.
The healing didn’t come from Peter; no, Peter came because the healing made room for him.
The healing came in believing God sees me, knows me, and that he had not forgotten.
The healing came in the fierce faith that causes a woman to chase after her Savior, to come as close as she can. On the pages of my journal, or on a dusty road two thousand years ago.
Two thousand days later, my faith has healed me.