ON WOMEN & COURAGE


And a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years and could not be healed by any one, came up behind him, and touched the fringe of his garment; and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, ‘Who was it that touched me?’ When all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the multitudes surround you and press upon you!’ But Jesus said, ‘Some one touched me; for I perceive that power has gone forth from me.’ And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people 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.’” (Lk 8: 43-48)

In most traditional cultures, including my Russian-Orthodox world, courage is not a virtue typically associated with women. Note that in Russian the words “courage” (muzhestvo) and “male” (muzhchina) share the same root. In fact, courage in a woman tends to be viewed as suspect and distasteful in my world. So I’d like to take a moment to reflect on one of the many examples of female courage recorded in the Gospels, quoted above. And by “courage” I mean, walking through fear and despite fear, to do the right thing, as did the woman with the flow of blood.

This woman’s courage, which came from faith, “made her well.” And my Lord praises her for it. So let me reach out and touch Him, whatever my ailment may be today. And let me “declare in the presence of all people” my female courage, of faith in Him, because He finds it neither distasteful nor suspect, no matter what “all people” think. I set aside what they think, because I “could not be healed by any one” of them. Lord, grant me courage today, to do the next right thing, that I might be “made well.” Glory be to You.

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