Freedom from Fear and Violence: Methodists against Gender Based Violence – The silenced and nameless women
Readings: Mark 5: 25-35, Mark 10: 46-52, Psalm 55
I think we would be surprised to learn how many people walk around with a darkness lurking inside of them, a darkness that comes from a sense of loneliness because they have endured things they cannot share with the world. A split takes place where there is an outside face that can be shown to the world, and there is another face, filled with the look of desperation or desolation that the world cannot see. I think so many of us carry these burdens that we shouldn’t have to carry but feel powerless to get the load off of our backs and we don’t know the way out of the darkness. When we walk in the light it is good, but as soon as we come face to face with the darkness, we are afraid and we are paralysed and we can only wish that it would sort itself out. By the grace of God, there are moments in which we will face the darkness and fight against the paralysing effect that it has on us and we come out of it stronger and more whole.
This woman that reached out to touch Jesus had one of those moments. She faced her darkness, her shame and she knew that she was more than she had been made to feel, more than those around her told her she should feel; more than she told herself she should feel. She reached out and she knew in touching the edge of His cloak that she was healed. The burden she had carried for so many years melted away in the face of Jesus paying attention to her. Her darkness was brought into the light and the light dispelled her fear and loneliness and she knew that she was free to be who she knew that God created her to be. She was free to be a part of society, she was free to be a part of worship and she was free to sing her praises to the God who set her free. All she did was reach out for help and in Christ she found life.
She may be nameless to us and she may have been referred to as “that woman that was bleeding for twelve years” since the time of Christ; but to God “that woman” has a name and to God she had a prayer because sometimes our pain and our agony in the midst of the darkness is our prayer. When all we can offer God is our experience of hopelessness, then that becomes our prayer. Even if we don’t know what we are needing to ask for or even how to ask for it, our prayer is heard and God brings healing.