"Will you pray for me?" She mumbled in a way I nearly missed. In that moment, my soul surged. Connection. There is a space where two stories intersect, two souls pause to mingle together in a frantic, chaotic world. I don't know her story, but I imagine she does not experience much connection. Yet, in that moment she bravely asked for what she probably could not even name.
"Yes, I would love to! What is your name?" I touched her hand gently, perhaps a misstep in a moment that soon spiraled through my own fingertips before I could even grasp the threads. Panic crossed her face in a split millisecond, and before I could make sense of what was happening, she mumbled something more and dashed away into the crowd of people gathered at the entryway.
I am sad as I wonder where this sweet lady's journey has taken her to cause such fear at the mere thought of being known by name. In that moment as I watched her slip away, I was reminded of another woman who once slipped through a crowd, anonymously seeking wholeness.
"At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, You see the people crowding against you,' his disciples answered, 'and yet you can ask,
Ah, the healing in being fully known and yet embraced! In my mind's eye, I see him cup her face tenderly, drawing her eyes to his as he speaks those words that were a balm for her wounded soul. Daughter...Daughter. To be named daughter, even as she is fully exposed! The truth of her disease was laid bare and touched by the One who was most pure and holy and good. He did not cringe or draw back like her religious community most likely had; he pressed in and pursued. He sought to know her, to give her connection and belonging in the place of anonymity, the disease she did not even know she had. And it was in being fully known that she was fully healed.