There is a story in the Gospel of Mark about a woman who has struggled with sickness for twelve years. As a person who is chronically ill, twelve years of being crook and the doctors not really giving a damn and treating her disrespectfully, is a long fucking time and it takes its toll. The chapter states explicitly that she had endured a lot. She was definitely a hardened woman, probably bitter and cynical and lonely by this point.
Over the twelve years of her illness, she had gotten worse and worse. But she too has an encounter with Jesus. But she didn’t just go and see Jesus walk on by so she could say to herself “oh, I got to see Jesus, that was pretty cool.” No, she had obviously gotten to the point where she believed that Jesus could make her well and she touched him. Her touching him was her point of surrender.
“Jesus, man, I’m powerless over this shit. I know you can make me well. I turn my life over to you.” She touched him. There were plenty of people who thought they were more important than she, and she probably felt that. “Who am I to come into the presence of God made flesh and expect healing from him? I mean, look at who I am? I’m a nobody, shouldn’t he be concerned with the more spiritual people in the crowd?” But despite the thoughts that were probably going through her head, she had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So she surrendered, and merely touched the hem of his clothes. She had to lean or bow to get close to the ground somehow to touch the hem of his clothes. That’s a posture of reverence and surrender. She didn’t know if Jesus was even going to notice her, but she surrendered to him anyway because she somehow believed that he could make her well, that he could restore her sanity.
She knew what it was like to have sanity, but she had not had sanity in twelve long years, and her insanity got worse as time went by. This woman was desperate to be healed. She was definitely open to ideas. But then, at her point of surrender, Jesus fucking notices her. The nobody that wants healing. He saw her. He asked who touched him, and she, trembling, came forward. She fell down before him, and the bit that really gets me is that in her surrender, while she’s kneeling at Jesus’s feet, she tells him the fucking truth about her miserable life. And Jesus, with compassion, tells her that her faith has healed her. It was her surrender to Jesus that began her true healing. He told her to go in peace, and to be healed. He commanded her to be healed, and she surrendered.
I myself have had an active porn addiction for fifteen fucking years as well as a shit ton of other stuff and so I can relate here. I know that I am sick and fucked up. I feel unworthy and ashamed, and I’m a fucking liar. Jesus, the fully human, fully God, who lived a human life and experience, wants to make me well. I need to bow down and touch the hem of Jesus’s garment, tell him the truth about my life and the mess I am in and how this shit is unmanageable, and surrender to the command to go in peace, and BE HEALED OF MY DISEASE.