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The Edge of His Cloak

Hidden.

Until today, my life has been all about hiding my true self.

My symptoms, my sickness, my contamination.

No one has been able to help me.

Experts gape.

Physicians recoil at my incurability.

I’ve been like this for more than twelve years.

My parents shun me.

They really enjoy worshipping at the synagogue – a place very near to their hearts so it was no surprise...

That when I became infected, they didn’t want to call me “daughter” anymore.

To my sons and daughter, I am an embarrassment.

Not being married to their father was a big mistake and then when this happened… it severed all hope of any kind of relationship.

It’s been so long, I wonder what they look like now?

I wonder when was the last time they thought of me?

I’ve forgotten what a hug feels like.

But it won’t matter for much longer.

Because after today, they will all welcome me back.

I believe it.

I got up early this morning because I heard a miracle worker was coming to town.

He casts out demons and restores sight. I heard he even raised a widow’s son from the dead over in Nain. I live on the outskirts of the big city where the unclean people reside. I’ve lived here for about twelve years.

As the sun comes up, I hobble to the downtown pools as fast as the crowd would let me. See, I try to travel in large packs of people to try to blend in. It’s risky because it’s easier to hide when I’m packed in than if I stick to the shadows. But if they do notice when I’m up close, they often get angry at me and distance themselves from me as fast as they can. Then, come the staffs. They rain down punishing blows screaming at me “how dare you get so close to me! Do you realize what you could have done!” It’s happened to me only a handful of times but I’ve had some close calls. The last time it happened I wanted them to just finish me off.

But hopefully that won’t happen today. I don’t recognize anyone in this crowd and we are shoulder to shoulder. So I should be good.

Wow. This crowd is extremely dense, denser than I’ve ever seen it. I wonder wh- That miracle worker must be just ahead of me! Excited, I crouch down and elbow my way through. My heart is pounding. I make a bet with myself: if I can just touch even the edge of his cloak, he will heal me. If he is as powerful as people say he is, then I believe that is all I need.

Oh… no… I feel my body begin to bleed. This exertion is like dashing a beehive to the ground and hoping the bees don’t come out. I must be getting close to him! He has a group of friends that are always with him and I think I just passed two of them.

I feel my condition worsening. It’s hard to breath with all this dust being kicked up into my face. But I keep lunging forward. I think I see him! I reach out and touch his hand. It jumps up and an angry face looks down at me and I feel a kick in my side. That’s not him.

Just before I can’t take any more of this crushing crowd, he catches my eye. Renewed adrenaline floods over my bones. My rags are starting to show dark red. I can feel the hot blood moving on my skin. I hurry as fast as my crumbling body and this crowd will allow. I am just behind him. With all my strength and in full realization of immanent trampling, I grasp the edge of his cloak.

Immediately, I feel the blood stop moving. It just cut off. I am so astonished, but I have to keep moving in this crowd. But my eyes are not seeing anything before me because my mind is completely focused on something I haven’t felt for over twelve years. Am I healed? Did it work?? I inspect a little more… I’M NOT BLEEDING!!!

Suddenly, I hear a voice over the din, “Who touched me?”

The men around the miracle worker looked around at one another. One of them said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

But the miracle worker said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” When the people around him heard this, they all started looking frantically for who touched him. Everyone was shaking their heads. The crowd started clearing away from the miracle worker as he was searching for who had received his power.

Regaining awareness of my surroundings, I scramble to get away, trying to remain hidden. But I feel more and more eyes hooking into me. I turn to look back at the miracle worker and see that he is looking straight at me. Everyone is looking straight at me. Some of them start to recognize me. I am no longer hidden and I start to shake irrepressibly.

My hands go cold, and my shoulders  tremble as I start to limp towards the miracle worker. The seconds seem like hours as I feel everyone’s frowning stares bare down on me. I can feel them thinking, “Is that — no. It can’t be.”

If I ever wanted to be dead, now was the time. As I get close to him, my knees give out and I fall to the ground in front of him. Hot tears start rolling down my dusty cheeks as everyone watches me cry and try to explain what I thought I was doing. I’m sure no one can understand me through my sobs.

“I just thought that if I could just touch even the edge of his cloak, something, something would happen.” Words kept spilling out, “I’ve been bleeding for over twelve years and I just want to see my family again and I don’t want to keep hiding and I want to be free of this torment that everyone hates me for.” I was trying to explain why I had done what I had done. Everyone’s eyes and ears felt like pottery breaking on me. I couldn’t look into the miracle workers eyes.

Suddenly, I felt hands on me; warm, tender but firm hands holding my trembling shoulders still. It didn’t hurt. I felt him kneel down close to me. I look up and he gave me really big hug.

He said, “Daughter.”

At that very moment, my whole world changed. I collapse and burrow my head into his shoulder as he continues, “Your faith has healed you.”

Someone comes up to him and beckons him to come to the house of Jairus. He lifts me up and kissing me on the cheek, smiles into my eyes and says, “Go in peace.” I am speechless. The crowd closes in and resumes its normal rate of traffic. The miracle worker is grabbed by his men and they turn and leave.

I am still standing there. Not ashamed. Not hidden. Not sick. A big grin spreads across my face.

I’m going to go get some new clothes.

THE END

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