Once upon a time there was a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had been treated by many a doctor, spending everything she had to pay them over the years, but never getting better. In fact, she had gotten worse. And so when she heard about the Healer, she knew she had to hope just one more time. She found him in the crowd, came up behind him, and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she could feel that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Immediately the Healer realized that power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” (Mark 5:25-34)

Listen! The voice of a healed woman sounds a little something like this:

“You live so much of your life at varying levels of weakness. Not quite yourself. Not quite up to par. Not quite 100%. Not quite all-in. Making matters worse, you feel just on the outside, just on the edge, just on the margins. And you wait for someone else to invite you in. The invitation is yours to both extend and accept. You are the one who can offer yourself healing. You are the one who can offer yourself worth. You are the one who can move from not quite and just about to completely whole and all in.

“Push your way to the healing you long for. Do not listen to the crowd, the cacophony, the voices within and without. Do not pay attention to those who shame you, who will not look you in the eye, whose feet are more familiar than faces as you’ve been bent in pain, hindered in movement, not allowed in. Keep moving forward, knowing what you know, trusting what you feel, holding fast to your belief that healing awaits you, that wholeness is yours, that just one touch will enable this to be so.

“And when you reach out to grab for what is, by right, yours to have, do not shirk back. Stand and face your healer and healing eye-to-eye. Name what you have done. Acknowledge what you have believed. Stand. Stand. Stand.

“It’s not about the power another has to heal you. It’s about the faith you have to seek the healing you deserve. It’s not about the authority or granting another gives to you. It’s about the sheer determination and will you have to seek it for yourself. You are the one with the power. You are the one with the will to push through. You are the one with the strength to persevere. You are the one with the touch that heals. You are the one that turns the very heart of the Divine with your plea, your will, your longing, your deserving, your determination, your strength, your desire.

“Yes, your desire. Just like mine. And ours, just like Eve’s. Of course.

“She reached for the fruit – her desire compelling her to trust that something more awaited her, that limits did not serve, that eyes opened were better than those closed. And like her, I did the same – my desire compelling me to trust that something more awaited me, that limits did not serve, that a body healed was better than one broken.

“Now you: reach for what you desire, trust that more awaits you, believe that limits do not serve, open your eyes, let your body lead you, and grab hold of all that will usher you into new worlds, new strength, new realms.

“What crowd of naysayers must you fight your way through to get to all you deserve and desire? What voices do you need to silence to leave the margins, enter the fray, and pursue strength? What limits do you need to surpass to stand tall, strong, healed, and whole? What crowds withhold? What rules bind? What dis-ease sickens? What hemorrhaging weakens? What despair consumes? What faith sustains and compels?

“And this question – the one that matters most: What healing do you desire?

“I already know. Wholeness and strength. The freedom to live, move, and be in expansive, miraculous ways. Causing crowds to part, skies to open, and angels to sing. An expression of sheer, raw faith, your faith in yourself, that causes the Divine Itself to stop in its tracks.

“All of this is already yours.”

May it be so.