He was here.
She knew he was here because she heard the shouting of his name, people crying out and trying to get closer, and all at once she’s in a crowd of people, stepping on the back of her heels, shoulders tossing into hers as each tried to worm their way through the bodies closer to him.
She had never been enclosed in such a large crowd before.
The bleeding just wouldn’t stop. She had tried everything, draining all the money she had, chasing after all the most sought after doctors. She believed all of them when they promised her all she had to do was this one thing and she would be healed. One more thing. It was always just one more thing. Every time she tried to set herself up for the disappointment but hope just had too strong of a hold. All the false promises quickly entangled her, lifting her higher and higher until the vines were cut and down she fell from that high place.
She officially had nothing left to give. There were no more options or alternatives. She had given up, until she had heard the gossip of a man named Jesus
She had heard he was heading their way but had no clue where exactly she might find him. Well, at least before the road before her was suddenly engulfed in a crowd of people.
The early shock of being so close to so many quickly wore off when she shook the confusion and chaos off- this was her only hope. She had to find the center of this crowd where the man named Jesus stood, surrounded and protected by his people. If he could heal people with just a touch, then all she needed to do was touch him.
She just had to touch him.
She stopped tossing along with the movements of the sea of people and started forcefully prying her way forward. Inching closer and closer until she saw the man everyone’s eyes were on.
As he turned to walk away, she lurched forward, hand brushing the hem of this garment.
The initial disappointment of only touching the hem quickly wore off when she realized the bleeding had stopped. She had brushed the hem of his cloak, and her bleeding had stopped.
. . .
I’ve been journeying through the Psalms and felt a tug over a specific terminology the Passion Translation uses. Glory-garments.
Every time I hear the word combo, I catch myself visualizing the woman who was suffering from hemorrhaging for 12 years who reached out to touch Jesus’ cloak and was healed. I see her reaching, fingers tangled in the fringe around the end of his cloak, barley brushing the corner before he took another step toward Jairus’ house. But that brush was all it took.
“Rich blessings overflow with every encounter with you…”
I wonder if the psalmist had any idea what he was actually prophesying when he talked about the glory-garments? Did he catch a vision of an encounter as he laid in bed, in-between sleep cycles? Did he think his imagination was running wild? Did he think it was just him? A good ole self description?
“…glory-garments are upon him, and you surround him with splendor and majesty.”
In Psalm 30, he gives praise to the Father, declaring,
“Then He broke through and transformed all my wailing into a whirling dance of ecstatic praise! He has torn the veil and lifted from me the sad heaviness of mourning. He wrapped me in the glory-garments of gladness. How could I be silent when it’s time to praise you?”
I see her. Jesus whipping around to catch a glimpse of what the Father had done, feeling the power going out of Him, looking around to pair a face with the act. “Who touched me?!” he invited, in a crowd full of people.
We don’t need His explanation of how He felt the power rush out of Him to meet her to know He wasn’t asking who bumped into him. Surrounded by a crowd, walking being more like a tango in itself, we can easily imagine lots of brushing shoulders.
This was an invitation to be seen. Jesus, calling her out, to intentionally love on her. He never grew casual and never ignored.
I used to read that as Him being angry or frustrated when He asked, but I know this was not that. This was an opportunity to let her know he was more than a magical shiny thing you could touch. He wanted to deliver far more than her bleeding.
Can you see her running home? Dancing and jumping and whirling because he lifted the sad heaviness of mourning and wrapped her in the glory-garments of gladness.
Psalm 29 talks about glory-garments, too. But this time, our pal the psalmist isn’t writing about Jesus or Father God.
This time he is talking about when we enter in to worship the Father.
Specifically, it begins, calling out to the “mighty sons of Yahweh” in the Passion Translation. The phrase can also be translated as mighty warriors, mighty men, angels, heroes, heavenly beings, but can be used to describe anyone who shows power or strength.
So. Restarting over here:
Excuse me, Mr. Psalmist, how do we enter into worship?
“…worship Him wearing the glory-garments of your holy, priestly calling.”
Wear my glory-garments, He says, turning to stand face to face with us, as He tells us we have been dressed to do greater. To worship Him with our lives and let His Spirit flow through us without yielding His move.
I was thinking of that scripture last night as I rolled up to a stop sign, how He tells us not to yield His Spirit. I’ve always taken it as Him saying, “Don’t stop my Spirit, Sam.” But it’s more than stopping. Stopping means stop. When you come to a yield sign, you may stop if it’s necessary, but it’s more often a slowing. Entering with caution.
Don’t slow His Spirit’s move. Don’t enter His gates with caution.
This isn’t a time to weigh each move He nudges us toward and decide whether the cost is okay with us. This isn’t a time to say, “Hey God, WOAH. You are moving way too fast right now and everything is rising at once. I need you to slow down a bit. I am not comfortable with this.”
Don’t yield His Spirit, friend. Put on the glory-garments. Let Him clothe you, trusting that He won’t skimp out on the goodness, trusting that He wants to do everything He promised and that you are just as good of a vessel as Paul if you’ll say yes.
“But you are God’s chosen treasure- priests who are kings, a spiritual ‘nation’ set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience His marvelous light, and now He claims you as His very own. He did this so that you would broadcast His glorious wonders throughout the world.”
1 Peter 2:9