TWO WOMEN, BOTH “DAUGHTERS”
(Monday, October 30)
“…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.” While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” (Lk 8:47-49)
I’m thinking today about the two women in the Gospel-reading that I heard in church yesterday, about the daughter of Jairus, whom Christ, “taking her by the hand,” raised from the dead; and the woman who had the flow of blood for twelve years, whom He healed after she touched Him. The text says she only touched the edge of His garment, but Christ Himself said, “Who touched Me?” after this happened, so I’m saying she touched *Him*.
The younger woman was the daughter of Jairus, who helped bring Christ to her deathbed, where by His touch (when He took her by the hand) and His call (“Child, arise!”) she was raised from the dead. But the woman with the flow of blood was on her own; she was considered “impure” and hence untouchable, according to the rules of ritual impurity. So, nobody, including her biological father, helps her. It’s as if she is nobody’s daughter and nobody’s business. She has “no man,” like the Samaritan woman, and she has “nobody” to bring her to the source of healing, like the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda. But she takes matters into her own hands; comes and touches Christ, having faith in Him but not in the above-mentioned rules.
After this, our Lord proclaims her publicly to be His “daughter.” He says, *Daughter*, your faith has made you well. I think this is why He calls her out; it is to let her know that she, too, *belongs* and need not hide. And to let all of us know that we belong and need not hide, even when merely-human rules expel or marginalize us as outsiders. Let us not self-isolate from God, but come and touch Him in faith, in some heartfelt prayer this morning, as daughters and sons of a touchable, incarnate God. His divine energies or “grace” rubs off on us, whenever we dare to reach out to Him, and energizes us to come out of hiding, as vital parts of the human family.