Monday, June 28, 2010

If Only I Could Touch Him

The day started like any other. The kids woke up just about the same time that my husband, Mang, and I did. I gave baby Himig her first feeding for the day and since she’s breastfed, I simply had to lie down breside her. I decided to linger a bit longer in bed when my four-year old, Lian Ed, greeted me with a smile followed by, “Good morning Mama. I’m hungry.” That was my signal to get up and start preparing breakfast.

In ten minutes, our small kitchen cum dining hall was busy. Ding! The toaster signaled that the bread was ready. The kettle whistled just as I finished putting instant coffee, sugar and creamer into the cups. I hurried to set the table. I poured more cereals into my clamoring son’s bowl while trying to pacify the baby who was crying to be picked up. Even before I had finished my pan de sal I got up to prepare Mang’s clothes for work.

Mang kissed the kids and me goodbye. Once again, I was left to tend to the kids and the house chores alone. In between feeding the baby and answering my pre-schooler’s endless questions, I tried to catch up with my writing backlog. It was one of those regular days for me but for some reason I knew it won’t stay ordinary for long. By mid-morning I was so exhausted. As soon as the kids were in bed for their afternoon nap, I fell on the bed side and broke into tears. “I can’t do this anymore! I’m so tired!” I sent Mang an SMS saying how frustrated and tired I am and he replied assuring me of his understanding and love. That didn’t seem enough to calm my restless heart. I found myself desperate for Jesus. I poured out my frustrations to Him knowing that only He could fully comprehend what I was experiencing.

That day I came across the story of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years (Mark 25:24-34). She too was frustrated with her condition and didn’t feel that her day was a regular day for her. She was ill and was made worse by the misdiagnosis of the doctors. Worse, she had become an outcast in her hometown because her culture dictates that any woman who is menstruating (and menstruating endlessly like her) is defiled. She’s not allowed to mingle with the crowd, to talk with anyone or to dine with others even her own family! How desperate and lonely she must have felt.

One day Jesus came to her town. That drove this desperate woman to do the unimaginable. Braving the crowd, she pressed her way to be close to Jesus. If only I could touch the hem of His clothes, I would be healed. She didn’t even plan to introduce herself to the Teacher. She just has to touch the hem of his garment that’s all. No one would know. No one would notice. But Jesus did. He felt power come out of Him as soon as she touched His clothes. “Who touched me?” Jesus inquired. “With all these people, how can you ask that?” the disciples’ outraged reply. But Jesus was a personal Savior and Healer. He may be in the crowd but He can see the individual. He may be walking in the midst of a throng but He is concerned with the person. As soon as the woman identified herself, Jesus relieved her of her fear and embarrassment by listening to her story. She told Him the whole truth. “Daughter, your faith has healed you,” was Jesus’ compassionate words to her. For the first time in over a decade, someone actually listened to her. Once again, she was affiliated with someone. Someone called her “Daughter” and she’s once again part of a family, part of the society. Jesus’ words of love not only healed her body but soothed her hurting heart. Everyone who witnessed the miracle finally heard the true story. It wasn’t her fault that she was ill. She didn’t have any unconfessed sin nor was she a bad woman. She was simply stricken with disease and now she is healed. Her desperation compelled her to do the unimaginable and she pressed through the crowd. Her desperation made her reach out and touch somebody. Her desperation brought her to the place of connection with Jesus. It was an opportunity to be intimate with Christ and she was never the same. She came to Him desperate and she went away renewed.

That day, I realized that I needed to be connected anew to my Savior. If only I could reach out to Him and listen to His words of healing then I would be better. I was not mistaken. I only dared “touch the hem of His garment.” Because Jesus knew me all too well, He gave me a concrete measure of His love. Mang came home from the office early, listened to me, embraced me and prayed for me. I came away from the place of desperation comforted and refreshed.

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