At first I thought it was my time of month.
Blood in my sheets.
I am so tired of blood in my sheets, but now I am too weak to even care.
My little one was only 3 then, now she is a young woman, and she is probably finding her own blood in the sheets. It’s strange that I would think of my daughter in that way, but to me, it is always blood.
I have not been able to live with her in over a decade. She and my husband live in town, in our little home right down from the market. Oh how I miss the market.
That was where I first noticed the twinge of pain that I now know is my hemorrhage. That was the first night of thousands that string together to make up who I am, who I have become.
I was Gildie the olive girl. I sold olives in the market. I was beautiful. Everyone always remarked about the color of my eyes. They said my eyes matched my olives.
I can’t remember the last time anyone even looked at my eyes.
Now I am forgotten.
I feel as though I have been robbed. As though a thief broke in and took everything.
Not my silver, and linen and fine china, though that is all gone too. We sold it to raise money for the doctors. The doctors could not do a thing. I went to doctors in 6 villages, I even went down to the hospital in Capernaum, but I returned much as I had left, only bruised and penniless.
The thief I speak of did not walk away with my possessions; he stole my family, my dignity, my humanity, my identity. I was Gilda the olive girl, now I am no one. I am invisible. I am a scar on the roadside, to be stepped around, avoided. Who am I? I don’t have an answer.
Not long ago some lepers were talking about a man. This man, I overheard, was wandering all over the region of Galilee, and doing things, well things I have never heard of before, except at the storyteller’s.
I heard two men talking about this man, Yeshua they call Him, who was opening the eyes of the blind, healing all manner of sickness, and even cleansing some lepers.
Oh that name, Yeshua, YHWY is salvation. O how I need a Savior!
When I hear these stories, I feel something deep in my chest, something I have not known for ages. I feel hope. After 12 years of blood on the sheets, after a decade alone, as an outcast, forgotten.
My first thought was that I must go to Him, I must have Him put His hands on me, and command this blood to stop. But my own husband is unwilling to touch me. The last time he came and held my hand, they would not let him back in the congregation for a week.
The stories kept coming. He healed everyone in this town, laid hands on the sick folk there. I even heard that He forgave a man’s sins just a few days back.
Who is this Yeshua?
I began to wonder if I could get to Him through the crowds that always are thronging Him. I wondered if I could get close enough to touch Him. I remembered a story from my childhood of the day they threw a dead soldier on the corpse of an old prophet and the soldier came back to life.
If this Jesus is anything like that old Elisha, I bet if I just touch the hem of his cloak it would be enough to stop this bleeding. As soon as this thought entered my mind, I felt warm all over, almost as if the healing had already started. It was as if YHWY Himself was telling me to do it.
I knew what I had to do. He was walking right by, and the crowd as always, spread around him like a river flowing through the street. So I went for it. I wrapped my tattered robes around me, covering as much of myself as I could. I kept my eyes to the ground (by now I am used to looking down) and edged my way into the mob.
I could not see Him yet, but I knew He was only a few paces ahead of me. I kept saying to myself the words I had heard deep inside my soul. “Touch the hem of His cloak, Touch the hem of His cloak.” It was all I could think, all I could hear.
Then I heard a voice right in front of me.
“Master, where did Jairus say he lived? Do you think it is much farther?”
That voice! The heat in my body doubled, and I knew it must be Him. I nearly dove to the ground, and stretched out my hand, barely brushing the fringe of His robe.
Everything stopped. I could hear my heart beat. It seemed like there was a minute between each thud, yet I know my heart was racing.
The crowd had stopped, the Master had stopped, I thought my heart would stop.
Yeshua began turning around and to my horror, He was saying:
“Who touched me?”
Peter laughed saying “Who touched you? Everyone touched you? Maybe you should ask who didn’t touch You.”
But Yeshua continued:
“Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.”
I knew I was caught. I knew He was talking about me. I had broken the law. I had come into the crowd, making them all unclean like me. I had touched Him, and not only was I not allowed to touch anyone, but to touch this man who was not my husband.
They could arrest me, or excommunicate me, or even stone me.
I was already on the ground, so I found my way up to my knees, buried my face in my hands, and blurted out the whole thing, and waited for His verdict. What would He do, what would He say?
Then there was that voice again.
“Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
Then I understood. The heat I was feeling, it was right at the source of the bleeding. The heat started to fade, and that odd sense of leaking that I had felt for twelve years was gone. The bleeding had stopped. I knew it right there, right then, my nightmare was over.
That was yesterday.
Today I awoke on my cot, and there was no blood.
Today I will return to my home, my husband, my beautiful daughter.
Today I will return to my life, my identity.
When Yeshua healed me, He did not simply stop my bleeding. He restored everything that thief had taken.
What manner of man is this?
If you enjoy these first person accounts you can find more under the heading “Encounters“