Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

He Passes By
Friday, June 15, 2018 by Linda Wood Rondeau

 

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

 

There were multitudes gathered on the street, and I became curious. “The Galilean is coming our way,” they shouted. Children scurried, some climbed trees, and women fell on their knees as the man and his followers approached. I inquired of a nearby stranger, “Who is this Galilean everyone talks about??”

I recognized the stranger’s stare, a mix of pity and repugnance. Nor did I fault him for gazing at me that way. I’d spent so many years bent at the waist. To stand tall only caused the bleeding to resume. For more years than I could remember, my world became the stones and thistles at my feet.  

“He is called by many names,” the stranger said, “Rose of Sharon, Lamb of God, Rabbi, and Son of Man. He is known as Jesus, Son of the carpenter Joseph from Nazareth.”

“But why do the people gather for a carpenter’s arrival?”  I asked. “Not even Caesar would earn such devotion even on a pleasant day.”

“Do you mean you have not heard of his many miracles—how the lame walk, the deaf hear and the blind see? Some say he stopped the raging sea with a mere whisper. Some also say he has fed thousands with just a few loaves and fishes. Surely, this is a holy man.”

 I defied the agony one more time to search the stranger’s face. Had I sought the counsel of a mad man? Perhaps his stories were meant to taunt for I had found many who pleasured in my suffering. Some would point with accusation, “Sinner!” Yet, I knew not what evil I had done to earn such pain.

The wrinkles of disdain now gone, his eyes welled with compassionate tears. “Perhaps His Grace will fall on you this day.”

Could it be possible I might once more look into God’s heaven instead of viewing the moon’s reflection from a puddle? Did I dare to hope again? I had spent my fortune looking for a cure to end the senseless bleeding. Once, I walked the streets with dignity, robed in fine linens. Now all I knew was a beggar’s existence.

I watched as the throng jostled my only hope beyond the mound where I had stood. “Oh, kind sir, there is such a throng about. He cannot see my need.”

“You will not know unless you ask,” he said.

Some well of determination arose from within. If this Galilean has done such deeds, even his garments must be holy, I thought. But how can I make my way when so many press against Him?

I remembered my father’s rebuke when as I child I pouted from some disobedience. “Unless a flower bends in the wind, it will break.”

I dropped to my knees and crawled over rocks and around the sandaled feet of disapproving townsmen like an infant in pursuit of some glittery object. Yet, he seemed so far from reach. With the last ounce of strength I possessed, I brushed the hem of his hallowed robe.

The street became thunderous with silence

as the man from Nazareth turned and asked, “Who touched me?”

One of those with him shoved aside others who clawed at the Rabbi’s garments. I feared the man of God might be smothered by selfish fame seekers. Another of His faithful spoke in bewildered tones, “Lord, thousands are crushing against you to the point we fear for your life, and you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

When I’d brushed against his garment, I felt a warm surge travel the whole of my body. Thinking perhaps I had breathed my last, I stood at some silent command. Not to half height as I’d become accustomed, but to full measure of my stature and without a hint of pain. And the bleeding I’d born for most of my life vanished as mysteriously as it had come upon me.

Again the man of God cried out, “Someone touched me, for I felt the power drain from me.”

I wanted to simply disappear into the crowd. I feared his disciples would stone me for my effrontery. But I was undone for my healed body told all. I threw myself at the Galilean’s mercy. I told him of the power that had made me whole again.

“Daughter, it is your faith that has healed you. Now go in peace.”

I wondered at his words. Had my actions been in faith or a desperate reach for healing? He looked into my eyes and saw the sprouting belief born from an instant recognition. For I knew then, beyond doubt, He was more than just a man. My eyes had seen my salvation, The Son of God.

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