That fateful, terrible, wonderful night.
Oh, she loved him. That was for sure.
But why did he have to come on to her like that? Why could she not find the strength to resist? Or did she really want to resist?
The love had overcome her, like the gentle passion of a lone candle. The passion mounted until hot lava filled her body, seeping from her ears and coursing down to her toes.
But single candles have a way of becoming wildfires. The wildfire left its mark in her swelling belly and scattering friends. Even her family threatened to disown her. How could she dishonor us like that? Didn’t we raise her better?
She had felt the quickening, the beginning of a life. She crooned love songs to the spirit growing inside of her. Perhaps this child could make everything all right again. Her lover had left after that night, gone far away on a journey. To where, she could not know. But he had left a life behind. A life that she now grew and nurtured, alone.
Suddenly, he appeared again. He shook her from her bed, ripped the blankets from her body. Moonbeams fell through the window and landed on her naked belly. He stared at the deep mound of flesh, the round mark of womanhood. This was not the young maiden he had left behind. His eyes turned the color of the night sky. His lips curled back in a sneer. The baby kicked inside of her, and the moon hid behind a cloud. She closed her eyes at his rage, bracing for the storm.
She opened her eyes again as a woman placed a warm rag on her head. She felt a burning pain in her abdomen, an emptiness where she had before felt life. No more movements came from deep inside, no more heart kept time with her own. She could not bear to look down at her belly. She could only bear to close her eyes once more. She heard the woman whisper, “Shh. Rest now. It is done.”
She slipped back into darkness. Blood filled her dreams. She screamed out for her lost child, screamed out for her own lost childhood. It was all gone now. What did she have left? She wandered through a field of blood, looking to regain something, some fragment of what was lost.
She woke up and the blood filled the sheets. She screamed out in pain and fear. The woman came and changed her sheets. The woman held her hand over the sunken belly, praying words of comfort, praying for a miracle. The blood kept coming. Sometimes a trickle, sometimes a flood. For years, the blood kept coming.
She became an outcast, a pariah forced to live among the “unclean.” She felt worthless, alone, unloved. The agony in her heart mixed with the burning in her belly. The blood was so painful. She wished she could die, wished she could go to heaven and meet the child torn from her body. She wished that night had never happened. She wished and wished, but all she could do was continue to live among the dead.
She began to hear whispers in the camp. “He is a great healer.” “He can cure leprosy.” “He can drive out demons.” “Some think he is the Messiah.”
She listened and scarcely dared to hope. “But can he help me?” she asked eagerly.
“No one can help you,” came the reply.
“You are the worst of the unclean. You broke the law of adultery, and you killed your child. Not even he can help you.”
The words pierced her soul and brought forth rivers from her eyes. She ran from the camp into the woods. She threw herself to the ground and cried out, “YHWH, save me from this hell”. The leaves rustled and a wind tickled her lips.
Suddenly, a response came back. An almost-silent whisper in her heart. “Go to him. He will heal you.”
“But I can’t do that. You heard what they said. I am a sinner and an unclean woman,” she whispered.
“Go to him. He will heal,” the voice replied.
She rose off the ground and dusted off her dress. Her clothes hung in rags around her shoulders and knees. She could not hide the bloodstains, the years of accumulated pain, the sign of her uncleaness. Shivering, she stepped forward toward the village.
“What is she doing here?”
“How dare she leave the camp. She will infect us all!”
The crowd jeered and scattered at her approach. Tears and embarrassment burned her face. Still, she kept her head high, kept her eyes looking ahead. She had to find him. This was her only chance.
Suddenly, she saw him. She walked faster. Then broke into a run. Her heart pounded in her ears, blocking out the screams of the crowd.
If only she could reach him. Just touch him. He could heal her.
She came closer and closer. She tripped over a rock and tore a gash in her knee. Fresh blood mixed with the old blood on her dress. She lifted her head and saw the hem of his robe. She reached her hand out and grasped the hem. Power surged through her body. She felt her womb close up.
The blood was gone.
She looked up and locked eyes with Yeshua, and she knew that she would never be the same.
Matthew 9:20-22 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Yeshua turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.