After so long, it’s hard to believe that I’m free to get out and about again.
I thought that writing to you would collect my thoughts better. But while I have some wonderful news, I am so excited to hear about Talitha’s recovery. I’d heard that she was so sick that the mourners had shoved their noses in to try to make everyone miserable, so you must be thrilled to see her bouncing around the house again, after her illness had come on her so quickly.
Can she really be twelve years old already? I can’t believe that’s how long since we last spoke to each other.
I am so looking forward to seeing her, and seeing you and Jairus again, for we had always been such good friends. I know it was painful for him when he had to banish me from the synagogue. But laws are laws, and who am I to try to change them?
I have missed the synagogue crowd so much. I had given up on ever going up to Jerusalem, and I had also given up on doctors. Their only help was to help themselves to my last shekel; with their fad diets and special potions to keep me coming back for another appointment. But all that is over!
I can’t wait to tell you about it, for with your worry for Talitha and your excitement about how quickly she got better you may not have heard what has happened to me.
It’s now safe for me to come near you and anyone else. I’ve been healed, by that same Joshua, the miracle worker whom Jairus took back to your place and kicked all those professional mourners out of your house.
Like I said, I’d given up on doctors and almost given up on myself. My bleeding never stopped, with all the cramps and the heaviness that hit us women every month, only for twelve years. All that time I was my own worst enemy, constantly bursting into tears over the slightest little thing, and I never knew when any stains would burst or seep through any absorbent cloth that I used. I’ll spare you the details about flies adopting me as a long-lost relative…
Just last week I recalled how an old rabbi once told us that pity is a powerful emotion if we direct it at other people’s needs, but he warned us how destructive it can be if we turn it in on ourselves. Don’t I know that now!
It got me wondering if that miracle worker Joshua could help me, for I heard that he was in town. I covered myself as best I could before going outside. A huge crowd was following him past our house, so I quietly slipped in with them. That’s when I saw Jairus pleading for Joshua to come home to heal your little girl. My moment! – I thought, so I worked in close enough to ensure no-one could see me touch his cloak.
The moment I felt the cloth, my whole body suddenly tingled with a warm, clean feeling. The cramps and heaviness disappeared and I felt so light that I jumped, before dipping down out of sight. Too late, because Joshua yelled out, “Who touched me?”
“Come on, Master,” one of his followers said. “With so many people crushing around, you want to know who touched you?”
“I do,” he said, “because I suddenly felt weakened. Who was it?”
I could not hide, but I was scared of the people who knew I should not be outside. I fell at his feet, weeping.
“Daughter,” he called me, “your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Imagine him calling me ‘daughter’ - as if I belonged to him! And I do belong. He honored me before everyone else to declare me clean, so I can come back to worship and anywhere else. If I had shied away and kept my healing a secret I would have achieved nothing but the need to keep convincing people who know our laws much better than me.
But now everybody knows and I am my old self again!
Let’s get together after worship next Sabbath,
Your loving friend,
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