When All You Have is Shame and Hope

FenceI have loved her for so long; I feel like I know her. I have read her story over and over.

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years. – Mark 5:25

Can we all just agree that to bleed consistently for twelve years would be physically uncomfortable? I’m not saying it’s the only reason I have babies but the whole no bleeding for nine months? It’s not a bad thing, y’all. So sorry if that is TMI but it’s just part of the curse, my friend.

And who had suffered much under many physicians… – Mark 5:26

Considering the very personal nature of this woman’s issue, I can only imagine what she had suffered under many physicians. We do know that she suffered, not some, but much. It makes my heart hurt. There must have been disappointment over the fact that they could not heal her. Certainly, there was embarrassment over having to share her shame over and over again to many physicians.

and had spent all that she had… – Mark 5:26

She was broken and she was broke. She had exhausted all of her financial resources.

I have often wondered how people knew that she was “unclean.” I’m sorry, but women do not walk around declaring to theIMG_0089 world that it is that time of the month. Okay, sometimes, our attitudes give it away. We do not, however, often verbalize it. In this woman’s day, however, you had to verbalize it. If she chose to go out in public, she had to make people aware that she was unclean. She had to speak her shame. Can you even imagine doing that, today?

Look away, I am the one with the eating disorder.

Don’t touch me, I have been divorced.

Pretend not to see me, my husband is the one who drinks too much.

Don’t befriend me, I am the mother of a prodigal child.

Cross the street, I have been an adulteress.

Mercy. What if we had to continually speak our shame – forever reminding people of our failures? This poor woman was unwell physically, abused by physicians,  and financially devastated. She had nothing except shame.

And hope.

Yes, hope.

My pastor said something this past Sunday that made me rethink several scenarios in Scripture. He said, “Hope always leads to action.” How do I know this woman still had hope? Because she left the safety of her home and went out into a crowd of pointing fingers and disgusted looks. She made her way through a crowd and ignored the horrified gasps of those who accidentally brushed against her. She was too intent on holding onto hope to worry about speaking her shame.

Hope always leads to action.

And so she hurried.

…came up behind him and touched his garment. – Mark 5:27

She came up behind him. So, we know that Jesus was walking away. There was a huge crowd pressing in. So, she walked faster.

Hope always leads to action.

And so she reached out.

For twelve years, she had been unclean. Invisible. Untouchable. This day, however, hope gave her the boldness to reach. To touch. To receive healing.

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” – Mark 5:34

Do you see it? The source of her healing was not touching the garment. Her faith made her well. Her hope was her healing.

She had shame and plenty of it. Shame alone, however, would have left her forever bleeding and suffering and alone.

But she had more than shame. She had hope.

And hope heals.

5 thoughts on “When All You Have is Shame and Hope

  1. Pingback: » When All You Have is Shame and Hope

  2. This is so beautiful and encouraging. I’ve read this passage so many times but never considered it in depth as you’ve laid out here. Wow. I’m still “new” in my faith and I pray that God can share these kind of insights with me… but in the meantime, I’m loving learning from others.

    Thanks so much for sharing and for linking this post up to the #SHINEbloghop! I’m pinning this to my Deliberate Faith board.

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  3. Pingback: What I’m Reading — Just Jilly

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