Growing up, my mother couldn’t move like most moms. An old hip injury rendered her unable to kneel on the floor, run around, or jump. She did what she could, but her persistent limp always reminded me to be careful, to avoid bumping into her lest she fall.
In my twenties, she received a hip replacement, a life-changing procedure that lessened her pain and increased her mobility. Intellectually, I understood this, but experientially it was hard to grasp. When she knelt down one day to play on the floor with her grandchildren, I instinctively reached out to brace her fall. I was so used to her frailty, I found it difficult to accept that she was no longer so fragile.
Maybe this is why Jesus doesn’t stop after physically healing the hemorrhaging woman. Instead, he says to her, Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease (v. 34).
What if Jesus’ words aren’t just for the woman, but also for the surrounding crowd? Maybe they need to hear that the faith of this woman—who has lived on the margins for so long because of her gender and disease—was enough to heal her. Maybe they need to know that the woman they deem unclean has a peaceful future ahead of her. And they need to know that this woman, long fragile from her condition, isn’t so fragile anymore.
Jesus’ words also communicate that the power which heals the woman comes from a mysterious alchemy of his own presence and the woman’s deep faith. Your faith, he says, has made you well (v. 34).
Our faith, with God’s help, can do much. For the woman, faith not only helps bring about her healing, it helps her experience a new reality with less fragility and far more agency.
How can our faith help us write a new story for ourselves?
Lord, help us remember that with your presence and our faith, much is possible. Amen.