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Life Interrupted

And yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’

Mark 5:31
Life Interrupted Book Cover

“It seemed to the disciples an unreasonable question. As Jesus had begun moving from town to town, crowds had begun gathering around him, following him everywhere he went. And this day was no different. Moved with compassion by the desperate plea of a father for his dying daughter, Jesus was making his way to save the life of a little girl. His disciples were following behind him as the crowds began pressing in around him, when Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’” (Mark 5:30).

reports about jesus

Maybe she’d heard how Jesus had restored a man’s withered hand with a single command, or how he’d freed a man held captive by an army of demons just on the other side of the sea. Whatever it was, “she had heard the reports about Jesus” (Mark 5:27) and that had brought this woman to this moment—that, and the brokenness of her life.

Twelve years of menstruation. Twelve years of suffering at physicians’ failed attempts. Penniless and with nothing left to lose, she did the unthinkable. Hiding herself in what must have seemed to her a faceless crowd, she stretched out her hand, reaching maybe just far enough to let her fingers sweep across his outermost garment—the unthinkable and unacceptable.

The unthinkable and unacceptable because women like her, women with issues like hers, had no business being touching distance from anyone. Jewish law made that clear (Leviticus 15:25–27). A woman’s menstruation made her unclean. It marked her and everything she touched. Where she slept. Where she sat. She couldn’t worship at the temple. And whoever touched her would be contaminated by her impurity. So maybe she thought no one would notice her among the crowds, that no one would pull away from her for fear of contamination. Or maybe all she could think about was getting just close enough. “If I touch even his garments,” she said, “I will be made well” (Mark 5:28).

One touch was all it took. More than a lifetime’s worth of pain wiped away in a single moment. But then she heard him speak: “Who touched my garments?” And she must have been expecting his reproof, because she “came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth” (Mark 5:33). How many times do we come to Jesus just like this? How many times do we come in fear? And how many times do we come trembling, expecting reproof?

lives of broken moments

Maybe she didn’t want to bother him. Or maybe she thought he wouldn’t bother with her. Jesus was on the way to save the life of a little girl, a desperate man’s daughter, but the truth, both for this woman and for us, is that Jesus makes room for interruptions, even when they come at the most inconvenient times.

It’s easy to take stock of our lives and mourn for how messy and broken they’ve been—how messy and broken they are. But in the midst of the brokenness of our lives, when we have a tendency to feel most alone and most dejected, we have the assurance of knowing those moments don’t go unnoticed. Jesus turned to this woman, and without a hint of reproof, said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). Jesus takes notice of the broken and messy things. He came to touch and heal the broken. Maybe we haven’t suffered for a dozen years straight, but, then again, maybe we have. Whatever has made up the fragments of our lives, we can know they’re not beyond the reach of God’s loving mercy.


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Daily Question

Consider what fears, relationships, or other aspects of your life you ’re not willing to interrupt Jesus with. Why not?

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Comments (10)

I feel like I haven’t handed over my marriage to Jesus and am cobbling it together as I go. I don’t want to rock the boat but we need change.

I had some great mentoring when I first started serving Jesus, so I learned to go through my days giving everything to Him, both small and large. However, as I have gotten older and walked with Him longer, I have noticed that I do keep things from Him. They are the things I have gotten myself into, poor choices I have made whether big or small, made recently or long ago; I stay in those and keep on in my own strength, which of course, doesn’t get me very far. I guess I have just thought well, you made your bed in that or this, etc. I am guilty of thinking that I did this to myself, so why bother God with it, especially since I knew better. Even though I know He is grand and amazing and pure LOVE, I tend to not bother Him with those things. Isn’t that silly? He, my King and creator, is the only one that can fix and heal and redeem and make ashes into beauty, so what am I waiting for?

I am reluctant to ask for help for myself. I pray and petition for others, but rarely for me. I need Jesus’s Grace and healing but am afraid to ask. I also think that I should be able to deal with these issues alone.

I feel like praying to God for insignificant things that don’t matter, like having the "perfect" life, job, house, etc are things that I shouldn’t be bothering Him with. I feel like I use this outline in my head of how I’m supposed to pray correctly instead of praying directly from my heart so I can talk to him about the big stuff, but I don’t just sit down and talk to Him like I would my best friend. I’m not sure when or why my prayers started like this, but I want to become more intentional about giving all aspects of my life to Him, not just the ones I think He wants to hear.

Even though I think it, it’s sometimes hard to say the word it loud of asking for help with certain relationships; marriage, family, friends, etc… also don’t want to seem selfish or silly when there is so much going on in this world that seems more significant…

My weight has been a problem for 40 years. I’ve prayed for years for me to have the will power to eat healthy and exercise and I always find an excuse to not release control to Him. After studying this story, I see just how kind He is! I love that about Him. I will go to Jesus with most of the big things but it is the small every day life things I don’t bother Him with like what to buy for the grandkids, what to cook for lunch, to help me manage my time for Him. I get lost in my everyday activities.

It has always been easy for me to pray for family members, friends, and church family. I was introduced to Jesus as a very young child and fortunate to have a Grandmother that loved God! She taught me to pray on my knees every night and we always asked God for his blessings for every member of my family, etc. but never did I ask God to watch over me. Although, I always knew he did. I have had numerous health issues over my lifetime, a terrible fall breaking a front tooth at an early age, uterine cancer, breast cancer twice, and diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as Osteoarthritis. I was angry with God and thought I wasn’t the perfect person he wanted me to be. I finally learned to pray for me, not feeling sorry for myself or for sympathy, but for God to make me strong to deal with my issues. God answers our prayers in his own time and I never fail to thank him for my blessings every day! God loves each and every one of us unconditionally and gives us mercy and grace!

Difficult asking God to heal me when I am sick. Always feel it’s His purpose for me to learn something from it but seem to just be down on myself instead.

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