By Samantha Costanza
Just one touch…” I thought to myself, “Just one touch and I will be whole again.”
The sweaty bodies press in one me. I feel a heavy foot land crushingly on mine. I wince while dislodging my foot from under the other and continue moving forward. The crowd is loud and the voices come to my ears in pieces.
“Lord, my brother…”
“Master, my son…”
All of these people have come on behalf of some ill-ridden person. For someone who cannot come on their own. Yet, I am here. I am here in the crazed mob after this one person we have all heard about. We have all heard the same rumors. The blind can see. The lame are dancing. The leper is welcomed back with his smooth complexion/ We have all heard and are now trying to receive the same for our loved ones, but I have come for myself. I have come to be healed and made whole.
For years, I have been in loss. Hemorrhaging essential nutrients of life. Money spent trying to be made whole again. Every avenue searched to stop the loss. Doctors called. All for nothing. Everyday, I am left drained. I can feel it leaving my being as I am jostled from side to side by the gargantuan soul next to me. The hairs on his arm rub against my fragile body. I can feel it draining…
Everyday for years, my hope has left. It has dripped out of me from my finger and toes. It has poured out of my chest with every new discovery that disappointed me further. My heart began to pump less and less with each revelation.
My soul seemingly shrunk like a raisin in the sun as dreams were deferred and my reality became a nightmare. No strength to keep going as that seemed to be another piece of me being released into oblivion. I would go on with the daily routine barely a player in my own acts. Day after day, I lost. Day after day, hemorrhaging. I was becoming less and less me. I was becoming less and less of a whole person.
Realizing I am unsure if the crowd is bringing me to my desired outcome, I push my way towards a ledge that jjutted out from an adjacent building. Pulling myself up, I begin to feel dizzy. My abandoning life force causes me to be lightheaded most of the time. I concentrate on my breathing and ever so slowly drag myself onto the ledge. I am vertical and am able to see over the crowd. I scan and see a group that seems to be the epicenter of this frenzy. Light headed for a different reason, my eyes find the answer to my prayers.
I had heard of him like everyone else had. There were the whispers in family gatherings about a man who goes against seemingly basic understanding. Challenges to the Pharisees spread like wildfire throughout our small village. His miracles were well known and something inside me spoke when I would hear about him.
“Just touch him. Just grab the corner of his cloak. Just graze the outermost part of him and you will be healed. You will be restored. You will be made whole. You won’t be a remnant any longer. Just believe and go.”
This voice pushed me into my current situation. I leap forward in my own weak way and continue forward. Wedging into spaces between others from distant countries. I side step next to a haggard mother and a scarlet faced terror. I cover my ears as the terror scream continuously for comfort. I somehow am so close. I see him through a gap in shoulders and I lurch through. His followers are trying to keep some space between him and the masses, but they are failing. I am so close, but the proximity has made moving exponentially harder. The heat. The smells of sweaty people. The pressure. The hemorrhaging. I begin to feel helpless and hopeless. I close my eyes and tears of utter despair roll down my face. The voice returns, “You are so close. Keep going. Your healing is at hand. Don’t be content. Push harder. Just one touch.”
My mind takes over the saying, “Just one touch. Just one touch and I will be whole again.” With renewed vigor, I move. Somehow space opens in a direct path towards him. I get within an inch of him. I stretch out my arm with my mantra playing in my head, “Just one touch. Just one touch.” As I get close, a rude hand makes contact with my back upsetting my balance and sending me to the ground.
Knees bruised. Hands scratched. I lift my chin and stare directly forward to see a clear space between the dusty legs of travelers to my savior, Jesus. I crawl forward and barely touch his garment with the pads of my fingers. The flow of loss stopped instantly when my fingers grazed his presence, but a whole new floodgate was opened.
Joy like a lightening bolt flashed through different parts of my body simultaneously. I lifted myself off the ground quickly, but without the well known feeling of dizziness that has accompanied that action for years. I lift my hands and face to the sun, laughing uncontrollably. Then, I noticed that the crowd had ceased moving.
He was searching. Jesus was searching and saying, “Someone has touched me. I felt some of my power leave me.” His eyes land on me for a long second before moving on. Guilt settles on my shoulders and I fall on my knees in front of him proclaiming my healing and my story. Confessing my wantings and how he has granted me what I needed. There isn’t a tear because there is no more pain and I can feel his smile as he says, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me and now you’re healed and whole. Live well. Live blessed.”
And I did…
Samantha is a 23 year-old teacher who recently followed God into the desert, literally — roughing it out in Dubai where inspiration for lessons are everywhere.