“I am an invisible man….I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” ~ Ralph Ellison
Have you ever felt that way? Do you sometimes wonder if anyone sees what you’re going through or cares how you feel? Life runs at such a frantic pace that we often feel we get lost in the shuffle, seemingly forgotten by the people closest to us.
I imagine that’s how the woman in Mark 5 must have felt. Scripture tells us that she “had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse” (vss.25-26).
I’ve been there—not with that specific physical ailment, but with a sense of trying everything in my power to change my situation without success. I’ve been exhausted with the effort, demoralized by the result, and desperate to find anyone who would care enough to help.
This woman finds Jesus. She pushes through a crowd of people, strains forward, stretching her arm as far as it will reach, and brushes her fingertips ever so lightly against his cloak. And “immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease” (vs. 9). I can imagine her, awash with relief, slowing her pace, narrowing her shoulders so the crowd could flow unchecked around her, and once again standing alone in the middle of the street.
The Bible never indicates this woman was looking for anything else. Perhaps she understood the urgency of the moment. Jesus was surrounded by people, all of whom had their own needs. He was on his way to save the dying daughter of a very influential man. Time was limited and demand for his attention was great, so she slipped in and out unobtrusively—willing to allow others the gift of his presence.
But Jesus had other plans. The passage indicates that he was immediately aware of what had happened and stopped to look for the person who touched him. In spite of all the people crowded around him, Jesus made time to interact personally with this quiet, ordinary, unnamed woman.
We are not invisible. Jesus himself explains that God notices every little sparrow, “but even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:7). In spite of how neglected you may feel in your life right now, rest assured that God knows exactly where you are, and he is ready to meet your need.
*You can read Mark 5:21-43 in its entirety here.