And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me."
When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."
Luke 8:43-48 NASB
How many times have I been like that woman, Lord? Longing to be able to touch You. Aching from the need to grasp the hem of Your garment. Knowing that if I could only press my fingers against the fabric for a moment my prayers would be answered. Sure I'd be able to feel the power that she felt that day so long ago.
There have been many times that I've needed You, Lord. More often than not, my need for you has been desperate, if only in my own mind.
I talk to You, but every now and again, I fail to hear Your response as clearly as I might have hoped. I cry out to You, but sometimes it feels like my tears are slipping through Your hands and falling vainly to the floor. I scream and beat my fists upon my chest, but at times I'm afraid that You have turned Your face from me and shielded Your ears. So what can I do, Lord? What can I do but reach for the hem of Your robe and tug on it as fiercely as I possibly can like a child trying to garner the attention of a busy parent?
Maybe I need to quit sobbing long enough to be able to hear the response You're trying to send to me. Maybe I need to quit focusing on me- my hurt, my needs, my questions, my longing- long enough to set my eyes upon You so that I may see where You may be leading me through this trial.
Maybe I need to quit talking about faith and begin acting on it instead. Maybe I don't really need to physically see, hear or touch You at all. I mean, haven't I seen You in the minute details of nature, the sweet smile of a two year-old, or the perfectly formed laugh lines of a woman who has spent ninety-five years with a heart filled with Your joy? Haven't I heard the rumblings of thunder of the sunniest of days, the crinkle of millions of tiny snowflakes joined together to bear the weight of my shoes, or the wind whispering through the tree outside my bedroom window when all the rest of the world is asleep? And You know that I have held scores of babies including my own precious two, the head of a man made especially for me, and the hand of quite a few irreplaceable souls who have since went home to You. I've read the stories, sang the songs, proclaimed Your glory, and felt Your spirit dance within myself.
I've experienced all these things. These and a million more overwhelmingly wonderful and seemingly insignificant things that have shown me Your presence in this world. In my life. In my very heart. And yet there are times when I still long for one more embrace. One more sign of Your mercy. One more message to only me that You are still concerned with the splendid and horrid details of my journey here on earth. Not only that You care, but that You are invisibly yet steadily working for my good somewhere in the background so that I may see the answer so long prayed for, enjoy the unexpected blessing that I've not even imagined yet, or feel the arms of the friend that You've sent my way to encourage me in my trial.
Then again, just maybe the most important work that You're carrying on behind the scenes is actually in someone else's life. Maybe there's someone somewhere that is unaware that even right now You are preparing these words that are coming from a humble servantís conversation with her Heavenly Father to touch their heart at a time when they too are longing to touch You, hear You, feel You. It does mean more to us than we could truly explain- knowing that those longings are not wholly unique to our lives. That there are others who feel as we do at times. There is no doubt in my mind that You are in the comfort we bring to another just as much as You are undoubtedly in the comfort that we receive ourselves.
Thank You, Lord, for letting me know that You are there. Thank You for letting me see that in a million different ways. Thank You for letting me hear it in the noises that others take for granted. Thank You for letting me feel it in ways that cannot even be explained. And thank You for letting me show others from time to time that You are there for them as well.