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Into the Light of Courage

by JODIE PINE HEALING Isolation & loneliness Hope
Into the Light of Courage
“Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.”
Matthew 9:22

An outcast. Unclean. She tiptoed stealthily onto the stage from the shadows. Praying with each step not to be noticed. Just. to. reach. the. hem. of. his. cloak. The Healer was within reach, the one they called Jesus. Maybe, just maybe, he could bring healing to her body. She’d exhausted all other options. And she was exhausted.

No one knew she was there. And no one made space. But somehow she managed to squeeze her frail anemic body through the crushing crowd and extend her fingers far enough to reach the edge of the Healer’s cloak. Immediately the change was felt in every cell of her body. Unbelievably, twelve years of bleeding ceased. A barely recognizable gasp escaped from her lips and the world around her became frozen in time.

Still hidden in the shadows of the miracle-seeking crowd who had – thankfully – not yet noticed her, surely she could retrace her steps and find a quiet place to celebrate. Alone. She could sit amazed and share a quiet laugh with herself. Accustomed, after all these long years, to her solitary existence of silent suffering, there was no one with whom she could even think to share her secret. Who would believe her? But then…

“Who touched me?” Jesus’ three simple words drew her out of hiding within the darkness and into the light of courage. 

There was a hushed pause as the crowd considered his bizarre question. And then she appeared. Fearful, she fell at his feet and poured out her story to him and to all who leaned in closer to hear her words. In this life-changing encounter, the one whose name had been forgotten embodied a new name: Brave Truth-teller.

“Take heart, daughter. Your faith has healed you.” 

Those life-giving words from the Prince of Peace must have carried her the rest of her days. Gratefully leaving the label Unclean in her story of the past, she could, at last, hold her head high and enter into all she had been excluded from. She courageously stepped out of her shadow-living and into the light and warmth and touch of community. God’s precious daughter of determined faith reached healing, not just in her body but in her spirit as well.

Closing Prayer
Jesus, how you must have delighted to free this dear woman from her years of suffering and to send her on her way in peace. Thank you for drawing us out of the shadows, as you did for her, when we have a story you want others to hear. Help us to experience every level of healing you want in our lives. Amen.
Song: Into the Light by Matthew West We can bravely come into the light and out of the shadows.
Question for Reflection

What has shadow living looked like for you?

Jodie Pine
May 14, 2024

I remember thinking that my kids only had a shadow of a mom during an especially difficult stretch of migraine pain when I was unable to be as present for them as I wanted to be in everyday life and in homeschooling. What was I even doing overseas when it seemed I spent so much of my life confined to bed? And yet, looking back I can see how God used that specific season of felt uselessness to grow my dependence on Him and to give my kids an opportunity to experience a relationship with Him that they wouldn’t have had if God had given them a high capacity mom.