Tamah hung back from the teeming throng, consumed by her thoughts.
Should I do this? How could I possibly approach him? I can’t even get close to the townspeople without causing a scene!
Twelve years of infirmity and isolation had left her weary—weary of the scorn of being unclean. The moment her feet touched the dusty ground of Capernaum in broad daylight, tumult broke out. Mothers scurried to keep their children from crossing her path for fear that they might touch her and suffer the same fate. “Unclean! Unclean!” they would cry out. Tamah had learned the hard way that it was better to stay in the shadows than to suffer public humiliation.
I’ve come too far to turn back now. I’ve heard the stories about him. He can do things even the doctors cannot do. I’ve seen enough of them to know!
She covered her face with her shawl, mustering every last vestige of hope she had left.
If there’s even a chance he might take pity on me, I must try.
Tamah made her way to the back of the crowd, her footsteps light and unnoticed. The mass of moving bodies engulfed her almost immediately, each soul present angling for a glimpse of the renowned teacher.
How fortunate! No one is paying me any mind.
She edged closer to where the teacher, this Jesus, was listening to a man’s impassioned pleas for his dying daughter.
I know that man—he’s a leader in the synagogue. Jairus, I think it was. He’s a man of significance. Surely the teacher will be preoccupied with helping him.
Tamah considered turning back.
No. I must not! If I can just get close enough to touch him—perhaps that would be enough!
Sensing a fleeting moment of opportunity, Tamah crept through the multitude until she could just barely see the back of Jesus’ cloak. She wedged her arm in between two sweat-drenched observers, groping in desperation for even a meager brush with his robe.
As her fingers grazed the fringe of his covering, she blanched.
She felt her strength returning as her hemorrhaging abruptly came to an end.
“Who touched me?”
Tamah’s eyes widened in fear. He knows!
No one admitted to the infraction. Even one of Jesus’ own men pointed out the sheer number and proximity of the gathered masses.
Yet he persisted in questioning. “No, someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.”
It was then Tamah knew she could no longer hide. “It was me,” she said, her voice trembling in time with her knees.
Those nearby her cleared a path, allowing Tamah to openly gaze upon Jesus for the first time. The enormity of what she had just done washed over her, overwhelming her with conflicting emotions.
I must thank him, this man who does miracles! No, I cannot speak to him! I am unclean…but then, I am no longer ailing. What mere man can do these things? Is it…could it possibly be?
Overcome, she fell at Jesus’ feet.
I am not worthy!
Gathering what little courage she had left, Tamah recounted her miraculous healing for all to hear. When she was finished, she hung her head, shamed by her own audacity.
Ever so gently, Jesus touched Tamah’s face, lifting her chin until her eyes met his. Never before had she seen such compassion in someone’s expression.
“Daughter,” he said, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
*Based on Luke 8:40-48 (NLT).
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