Yesterday, my attention was bought to the story of the woman with the issue of blood.
This poor woman had been bleeding for 12 years. Imagine that ladies? A period that lasts for 12 years!? In this time, a woman with her monthlies was considered unclean for 7 days after the bleeding has stopped. If anyone touched her, they would be unclean. If she touched anything, it would be unclean. You can read Leviticus 15:19-33 to read the other restrictions on a woman who was bleeding. A woman who has been bleeding for 12 years would have lost her whole family and friends. She would not have been allowed to worship and fellowship in the temple. She would not have been able to be intimate with her husband. She would have been home-bound, just in case she touched someone. She would have cried alone, and no one could have hugged her. She couldn't go to someone's home, because whatever she touched was unclean. She was an outcast. No one wanted to do anything. You get the idea.
Her pain was real. Not only was she physically damaged, she was emotionally scarred. She was isolated, rejected and pronounced "Unclean".
Then along came Jesus. While he was walking in a huge crowd of people - she did something that was very brave, and touched Jesus's clothing, in hope that it would heal her. Now you would think that in a crowd of people, he wouldn't notice. But he did. "Who touched me??"
What a crazy question - especially in a crowd of people. Jesus turned and looked at her and her story spilled from her lips. The story said she was really afraid, and I don't blame her. She was unclean. No one wanted to be anywhere near an unclean person. Anyone could have turned on her for daring to come out in a crowd of people when she was unclean.
Then Jesus, in his compassion, he calls her something so sweet and tender - "Daughter".
Now imagine that you had been ignored, almost invisible for 12 years. Not being touched, not being loved - just seen for what condition you are in. Jesus went past that and spoke to her kindly, listened to her troubles, and healed her. He noticed her and he loved her. She wasn't beyond his notice. He wasn't too important and too busy to listen nor was he judgemental - even though she touched him. She was a nobody, and he made her a somebody.
I love this story. It shows such a tender and loving part of our Lord.
Dear Lord, thankyou that you notice everybody. Thankyou that we don't have to be Evangelists and Priests to be loved and noticed by you. Thankyou for showing your love and compassion to us all. Thankyou that you noticed me as a nobody and made me somebody in you.