Friday, March 15, 2013

When She Reflects Me

I met her in January.

We were walking by and she stopped us, asking for medicine. There were sores, painful sores in her mouth and other areas. I knelt and looked into her eyes. She was afraid.

Thinking back, I should have stopped and paid more attention, asked more questions. I should have prayed over her. But I texted my director for answers and we left.

I have thought about her since then, wondered if the sores went away.

They haven’t.

Instead, she arrived at our doorstep a few days ago, full of fear, her body covered in open wounds. They smell, they ooze infection; they speak of a cruel pain. 

Her body is in so much pain, but I think her heart even more so.

“Curse” they all whisper. Some turn their noses down at her, and some whisper the word in fear. But it’s clear all believe she has been inflicted with a curse. No one… not the hospital or the witch doctor… can do anything for her. She is cursed to die of a painful disease.

And aren’t we all?

It’s interesting to see a reflection of your own heart in the wounds of someone else. Open, painful sores as a result of the wrong choice. And isn’t that where my wounds come from? One moment after another of choosing myself over Him. Self-inflicted illness from a lifetime of picking me.

And it hurts to watch… because it didn’t have to happen. There is a better way.

I didn’t have to wound myself… there is a better way.

And who am I to deserve this... to be on this side, typing about her pain rather than living with open sores of my own? My choices have been no worse than hers, my pride no better, my sins no smaller. I don't understand. 

And I think back to her… the woman whose name I don’t know, but I know her story. Inflicted with an illness for 12 years, a bleeding disease, maybe from her choosing, maybe not.

But for twelve years, she roamed yelling “Unclean!” as her law dictated so everyone would know to stay away. No one knew her name. No one knew her story. All they knew is that she was unclean, dirty, cursed. She probably smelled. She probably didn’t have a friend in the world.

This is how she presented herself to Him, wounded inside, broken outside. All she wanted was just to touch and walk away. She risked the possibility He would be just like all the rest, that He would send her away, He would proclaim “Cursed”.

And He could have just let her walk away when the disease was healed.

But He didn’t.

He didn’t.

Instead, He called her out and made her come forward.

And in place of Unclean, He gave her a new name.


In a culture where family is everything and for a woman, it’s who you belong to that matters.


He claimed her as His own. He could have said sister, friend, woman, but instead, He chose the most intimate relationship he could, apart from calling her wife.


She is mine. Flesh and blood. Unconditional. I claim her. I want her.

She is mine.

There are always consequences to sin and how quick I am to hold the judgment and condemnation over myself. I don’t deserve grace or freedom. I let the wounds fester until they become more than I can bear.

And yet, in spite of me, in spite of the fact that I have nothing to give Him, nothing that would render me useful, He still says, “Come”.

He still calls me Daughter.

I am His.

I don't understand why. I never will. So I can shove it away and run back to my life of selfishness. But I don't want to. I want Him.

And for her, He who has the power to break all curses calls her His own. He says “Daughter. This one is mine.”

And isn’t this our story? The story of a curse we are not strong enough to overcome, a curse that must be broken by One whose sacrifice paid our freedom, whose resurrection is life.

You are mine.