So we're back where we started, with a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years who pressed through the crowds, touched the hem of Jesus's robe, knew in that instant that she had been healed, and yet, had to go home for seven more days.
When we started the week, I said that it seems almost cruel. Those seven days have got to seem endless and so...unnecessary. But the truth is? I love it.
And it's sooo Jesus.
Because here's the thing: for seven more days, this woman couldn't do anything except be healed. She couldn't start catching up on all of the things she'd missed out on. She couldn't start working through her bucket list of things she'd do if she ever got the chance to be clean again. She couldn't even go back to life as she once knew it because she wasn't free yet to do so. The only thing she could do was sit in her house (probably not even her real house, but the dwelling of her uncleanness) and not bleed any more.
It sounds boring to most of us, but this time...it's a crucial time. These moments that we have after a miracle are vital to the well-being not just of our bodies, but our souls. These seven seemingly-long days? They are going to feel so short once we get back into the swing of things. And the truth for most of us is that if we just went and got back into the swing of things? We'd miss our own healing entirely.
We would. We are a people so prone to just moving on with things, getting on with our lives, doing the next thing and the next thing and the next thing that we'd miss our own healing if Jesus didn't make us take a little bit to slow down and attend it.
And then when we get a second to slow down and stop and think about it, it feels so long ago. Like we're so far removed from it already. Like it has no connection to the life that we now life. And all of a sudden, neither does the Jesus who healed us.
We are a people who press through the crowds...to simply move on.
What I wouldn't give, then, to be the bleeding woman. Or any other number of the men and women in the Gospels who Jesus healed. Those next seven days? That remaining time of purification? Those in-between moments? My soul needs those. Even when my life feels like they're some cruel kind of torture. I need to have time to dwell on my moment with Jesus, to relive it again and again and again, to hold it in my heart and treasure it, like Mary did with so many of her moments with Jesus.
I need time to think about what it means to my life that Jesus loves me this much. So much that He would heal me. And I just don't think that what it means to my life is that I get to go back to work. And the grocery store. And church. And take the car for an oil change. I think that it has to mean something more than that I get to be busy again. I know that it means more than that.
And maybe, just maybe, if I took some time to think about it, I'd realize that more. Maybe, if you took some time to think about it...
More and more, I am convinced that those long seven days...were an incredibly blessed seven days. And that this formerly-bleeding woman, even with a life to get back to, wouldn't trade them for the world.