Jesus speaks these words to the woman with the issue of blood, a story which touches my heart and which appears in three of the gospels. I can imagine her, an outcast from society, lonely and frightened, creeping up behind Jesus, praying that, at long last her bleeding would stop. Throughout those twelve, long years, everything she touched or sat on or laid down on would have become unclean and she would have known social isolation.
How did she feel as she pushed through the crowd to reach Jesus? How many people had she touched on the way? – and here she was, reaching out to touch the ‘holy man!’ When He stopped and looked round to single her out she must have been terrified, and how embarrassing to have to explain what her complaint was in front of all those people.
Jesus not only confirmed her healing, but with one word He drew her back into society – the word ‘daughter’. It’s a word of inclusion, saying in effect, “You’re a member of my family, my daughter.” We don’t know how old this woman was, but I imagine that she was probably older than Jesus and so for Him to call her His daughter must have been very special and done much to heal the sense of isolation she had experienced.
Each one of us needs to feel that we belong somewhere. We can feel isolated in our churches, in our work places, even in our families sometimes, when no-one else shares our faith, and that can be painful. My prayer today is especially for those of you who’re feeling alone and isolated, and you can use it to pray for others.
Prayer: Dear Father, I pray today that You will be very close to those who feel alone, even within their families. May they know Your lovely presence surrounding them and bringing them comfort. In Jesus’ precious Name, I ask it, Amen.
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