41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Luke 8:41-48
My daily podcast pairs Old and New Testament passages together in a way that highlights new themes for me. For this passage, I had never before recognized the uncleanness of this woman in her culture. Yet Jesus sees her, responds to her, and speaks words of peace. He sees lepers, children, and a generous widow. He exalts the humble tax collector rather than the showy Pharisee.
In this world of busyness, violence, and global displacement, we read that Jesus saw individuals. En route to heal a dying child, he stopped to bless a trembling woman. At Samaritan Health Center, we serve from our own need—we need the life-changing grace of Jesus, just like the patient in the exam room or on the phone. What does this mean?
It means we strive to serve patients in their native language, ask about their stories, and work together to address challenges. We also get to laugh, pray, and celebrate.
Recently a patient who had canceled an appointment began to share some current griefs, but then announced, “The produce is wonderful.” We had enrolled her in weekly deliveries from a local farm. She told me how fresh the vegetables were, different from her grandmother’s cooking, and we exchanged stories about our grandmothers’ roles in our lives.
I asked another patient lightheartedly, “are you glad to have less COVID in your life?” Of course he said yes, but then he told me about losing loved ones and serving in a caregiving role at his church. I told him about the friend I had lost during the pandemic. Sharing our mutual griefs, seeing our mutual humanity, was a sacred moment in a busy day.
We have many hard moments at Samaritan Health Center, but we remember that although we see imperfectly, God loves perfectly. Praise Him for His redemption!
(You can visit our website to learn more about the people and work of the last year.)