social spark Aisling Beatha: The Woman Who Bled

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Monday, September 11, 2017

The Woman Who Bled

Today in the Blog Hop I am sharing a story that I wrote a few weeks ago.  It is a story where after reading (or in this case listening to) a bible story, I imagined what it would have been like to have been there.  Where would I have been, what would I have seen, and heard? What are the details that would have got missed out when the story of that event was written down?



I was on the edge of the crowd somewhere and I wasn’t looking at Jesus.  I was watching HER.  I didn’t KNOW her, not to speak to but I knew who she was.  We all did.  We knew not to touch her if we passed in the street and I had watched her when she was shopping in the market.  She always waited for the stall holder to place her items down and completely remove their hands before she picked them up so that they would never be touching an item at the same time. I knew that a lot of the stall holders wouldn’t serve her at all, wouldn’t answer her questions, wouldn’t even make eye contact or acknowledge she was there.

It was as if they wanted her to be invisible, or maybe it was the concept of her blood they wanted to be invisible, for to deny the idea of a woman’s blood is to deny her power in part.  To refuse to acknowledge one is to never allow the other to be mentioned.

I watched her move through the crowd, slowly, silently, almost invisibly.  She was touching people, I mean she MUST HAVE been, there was no way to get through that crowd without doing so, but no one noticed.  They were all so focused on Jesus and what they wanted, what they expected from him that they didn’t even see this woman who really needed him.

There were moments when she disappeared in the mass of bodies, but then I would catch sight of her again.  Sometimes she had her back to me, or the side of her head, but there were moments when I had a clear view of her face.  I was expecting to see fear, or desperation, but what I had not expected to see was such a fierce determination.

She continued to move through the crowd, and I was so intent on watching her, so fascinated by her journey through the crowd that I almost forgot that Jesus was there.  That was until she got right up to him and then she ducked down and I lost sight of her altogether.

I was desperately searching for her with my eyes when I heard Jesus speak, clearly, above all the noise and clamour around him.
“Stop!  No, really, STOP, who touched me? Who was it?  I need to know.”
His friends looked at each other, then at the crowd.  They looked at Jesus and then back at each other, I could tell that none of them wanted to be the first to speak, but finally one of them did,
“errrr, have you seen this crowd? They’re ALL pushing and shoving.  Look, we’re not bodyguards, we can’t stop them.”
“No” Jesus said “That’s not what I mean.  Someone touched me, I felt power go out from me.”

That’s when I spotted HER again, I think I realised what had happened at almost the same moment she did.  She looked around herself and then right at me, I was sure of it.  Did she know I’d been watching her?  Was that a smile creeping across her face?  I don’t think I had ever seen her smile before, but then I noticed she was trembling too.

She rose slightly from where she was crouching, she cleared her throat and whispered
“It was me” but no one paid her any attention.  Was she still invisible to them?
Louder now she said, “Me, I touched him.”

Jesus turned to face her, she fell at his feet, her whole body shaking now.  He held out his hand and the crowd went quiet.  They waited to see what he would do next, they KNEW who she was, they knew to avoid her, why didn’t he know, was someone going to tell him?  Then she took his hand and there was an audible gasp.  Jesus smiled as she took his hand, he drew her towards him and she stood up, in front of him, in front of all of THEM.  Finally, they SAW her, finally she was acknowledged.


“Daughter” Jesus said “It’s OK, don’t be afraid, I know what you have been through, I know how you have been forced to live separated from even those you love.  You can go in peace now, your faith has healed you, you are freed from your suffering, both that which came with your condition and that which was put upon you by others.”


Where do you think you would have been had you been there?
Have you ever imagined yourself into a well known story, whether from a faith background, or a historical one?


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