‘Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” – Luke 8:48
“I think you are marked by your awareness of it, and how much you let it affect you day-to-day”. Hamilton (Broadway hit smash) creator Lin-Manuel Miranda told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, of how he was affected by the death of his friend when he was younger.. “I have this memory of nursery school of just six months of grey…”, continued Miranda when recalling how he felt after his friend from nursery accidentally drowned. “You’re kind of always a little on alert…”.
Have you entered the month of October on alert? Have you been marked by previous events which have left you in a space of grey?
To be marked is having a visible mark, one that is noticeable by everyone and sometimes cannot be hidden. In a nation where there is immense pressure to portray the perfect life, a life absent from blemish or stain, there are many of us who are allowing our marks to affect us day-to-day. A character in the bible who stopped hiding and allowed her mark stop affecting her day-to-day, was the woman with the issue of blood.
We are not told the woman’s name in Luke 8:43-48 but we are told that she suffered with this issue of bleeding for twelve years. We are told that she had gone to physician after physician in an attempt to get a solution but to no avail. Now in those times, when a woman was bleeding, she had to be solitary confinement, with no contact with the outside world. She was seen as contaminated and was not allowed to be in the presence of others for fear of defiling them.
In modern times, we have become aware of the dangers of solitary confinement. Research into prisoners who have spent time in solitary confinement, have found that many were “actively psychotic and/or acutely suicidal” (Stuart Grassian – psychiatrist). Therefore you can imagine for twelve years, this woman was in isolation, probably experiencing hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia and so much more. This was a mark that she had become known for. It wasn’t something she could hide and had been a mark for so long, it had become a part of her. But one day she decided she would not be a victim anymore. She would no longer allow this mark to affect her and haven heard that Jesus was coming to her town (probably through eavesdropping ) she told herself that, that would be the last day of her suffering. The bible says in Luke 8:44 ‘she came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak’. Now if you can imagine her probably crawling on the floor through the crowd, moving in faith as she bled, to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment. She didn’t care what people were saying or who was looking at her. The bible says ‘…immediately her bleeding stopped’.
What has marked you? What are you letting affect your day-to-day? is it shame, guilt, anxiety, worry, death, financial constraint etc? Today is the last day of your suffering. As we head into the second week of our fasting and prayer conference, let your faith arise and walk into the month of October victory!