The crowd is thick–joyful, busy, full of life.
But she is alone, afraid, wondering if she should even be there. For years no one has touched her. The elbows jostling, arms bumping, and shoulders brushing feel welcome and uncomfortable.
Then she sees the one she has been waiting for during twelve long years of suffering. Perhaps she had been in the crowd many times. But today she slips through the people, tentatively at first, and then using her elbows, voice, and hands until she stands within a foot or so of him. Fear grips her, taunting thoughts run through her mind, but she has come too far to turn away now.
One trembling hand reaches out and touches the edge of His cloak. In an instant she feels the pain stop and then a sudden, inexplicable surge of joy. She knows she has found healing, hope, life–everything that has been missing for so long.
He turns and asks, “Who touched me?”
She hadn’t expected this. Her plan had been to remain unnoticed. But Jesus asks, and trembling, she finally answers.
He looks at her with eyes of love, eyes that seem to really know, and says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48).
One of our pastors, Matt Newman, shared a great message from that story last night. As I listened I had this thought: So often I settle for staying in the crowd. It’s not that Jesus is far away. I feel like I can see him and often even hear him. But life is busy. I’m having fun with my friends. I’m right in the middle of the action. In so many ways, I’m distracted.
Eventually I get tired, worn out, and frustrated with life. I long for something more. Last night I realized that’s because I’m not taking those final steps to intentionally come close to Christ–close enough to touch him, receive his grace, and find what my heart needs each day.
So I just did something crazy. I signed up for the 5:16 club. It’s a group of women who are committed to spending time with God each morning. You can read more about how it started here. You can choose whatever time you’d like but I picked 5:16.
As I’m typing this a part of me is already asking myself, “What were you thinking?” I’m not a morning person, as many of you know. The infamous story is that I once put chocolate on the alarm clock to bribe myself to get out of bed. I ate it and back to bed. Like I said, not a morning person.
But in spite of that, I know the answer to the question above. I was thinking that it’s time to get out of the crowd and get close again. It’s time to focus less on doing and more on being. It’s time to reach out again and touch the one who has touched me.
In so many ways, for so many reasons, it’s time to get up.
Would any of you like to join the 5:16 club with me? If so, leave a comment here and then sign up at the 5:16 site. If you do, I’ll commit to praying for you each morning. And I would love for you to do the same for me–I’m definitely going to need it! Let’s share this with other women too. I believe we can do this together by the grace of God and the power of very strong coffee!