I grew up on the edge of a large Midwest city (Indianapolis). My graduating class in high school was over 700, and I attended the main campus of a Big Ten university immediately thereafter. I have been to visit my daughters on both coast in L.A. and the Big Apple, and accompanied my husband’s small college on a trip to London several years ago.
All this to say, crowds don’t bother me.
It’s not that prefer them; I don’t. In fact, I’m writing this on my somewhat secluded patio in my comparatively sleepy small town with my quiet mutt on the pavestones as the birds sing around me. Yes, in a way, I’m hiding. Intentionally. Is that so bad?
But I’m quite adept at hiding in a crowd also. I really like not
standing out, even though I’m a six-foot tall female in a 5’-6-inch female world. Now that stiletto heels are back, (crazy, I know), I don’t stand out as much…I just wear flats.
My point is, hiding in crowd really isn’t that tough if you just blend in and look and act like everyone else.
So I’m intrigued what was going on in this encounter with Jesus:
“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.”
Totally wonderfully. And then this:
“’Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, ‘Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.’”
There’s that word, deliberately. It drips with purpose and desperation. But here’s the part that also gets me:
“When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed.”
Seriously? I doubt she was the only female in the mass of humanity pressing on Jesus. So many needs, so many other faces, I hardly think anyone cared about just another unknown lady who weaseled through to barely touch His cloak. What made her think she couldn’t remain anonymous? Why couldn’t she just take her blessing and slink off to enjoy her life…
…like so many others do. (Ouch.)
Because true change refuses to stay hidden.
By definition, the faith that changes us, renews us, saves us, is the faith that must be “explained to the whole crowd.” There’s no way it CAN’T draw attention to itself, not if it’s real, that is.
Jesus did not die so that we could blend in to the crowd, but to stand out.
And I don’t need high heels to do it. (Thankfully.)
Luke 8:43- 47 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.