Home/Encounter/Article

Dec 17, 2018 239 0 Shannon Magbalon
Engage

He Has Loved You From Eternity

“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction’” (Mark 5:34). This verse is the only example of Christ referring to anyone as His “daughter” in the Gospel of Mark. The woman with the issue of blood has become a daughter of the King through her faith. The gravity of this transformation could not be overstated! A woman in Jewish culture of the time was considered ritually unclean due to the blood that flowed from her body. She was isolated from her own people as they too would be considered unclean to come into contact with such a person.

The Gospel story has weighed heavy on my heart. What is it like to live as an outsider? The pain of her condition could not have been greater than the pain of the world’s rejection. Imagine also that her condition likely permitted no marriage or children. All the ordinary comforts of the world in terms of friendship and family were beyond her grasp. She was alone in the world. Having some means, she appeared to have applied all efforts to correct her condition and, having lost even her material comforts of wealth, she approached Our Lord, well … empty.

Few of us are unfamiliar with loneliness and loss. It is often our relationships that give color and energy to this life. Yet, the brokenness of relationships can bring an incomparable pain. Of all the catalysts that bring patients to my office, broken relationships are the most painful. Be it infidelity or conflict or loss, we are not creatures who do well alone. We mourn the lost friends and missing family members. We dwell on memories of closeness and grieve them over and over.

Into this pain the woman in Mark’s Gospel pushed through and grasped at the one and only relationship that would not fail. It was not her touch that healed her. It was not the garment that accomplished the act but her love for Him. She was drawn in and became forever His daughter! What was healed was not merely her flow of blood, but her truncated existence, her separation from life Himself. What she had mourned all those years had been given to her in perfect love, familial love! We are sons and daughters of the Father and we are loved! I know how hard this is to hold on to. How can the King love me? This is impossible to imagine especially when those earthly beings, who are supposed to love us, do not. When a parent abuses us, a long-cherished friend or child rejects us, we cannot imagine a God who is love. The face of God becomes distorted in our eyes.

Look to the woman in the gospel once more. Like us, she approached Our Lord from the back. She could not clearly see His face. Her loss and her loneliness did not prevent her from approaching her Lord, they propelled her toward Him. She saw Him with eyes of faith and this was enough. It is enough.

Shannon Magbalon

© is a wife and mother of four. She is a breast cancer survivor. With a doctorate in psychology, she writes with a view of both psychodynamic and theological. God’s love compels her to write. The blog www.amazingnearness.com is her “yes” to God.

Share:

Latest Articles