Women of the Renovation


Remember that day when you touched the edge of Jesus’ garment?

Remember when you took that long journey, first within yourself—because you had to walk that long, lonely journey within first—and then all the way from the edges of the crowd right to the feet of Jesus?

You believed if you could just get there, if you could just touch the hem of his robe, you would be healed.

And you were.

You felt it. You knew immediately you’d been healed and it was enough. It was enough to last a lifetime and send you back to the edges of society to live in peace. But that was not what Jesus intended for you.

He felt it, too. 

He felt how the power had gone out from him and he knew that it had been a person of faith who had touched him. He knew it. 

He also knew there was more work to do. He knew he had to take you from the edges of society, and the edges of yourself, and bring you face to face with the Healer. He didn’t just want to heal you; he wanted to restore you.

So, he asked, “Who touched me?”

It was ridiculous. In a crowd like that?

Remember how you trembled? 

You thought you’d been caught out and perhaps he would turn you over to the crowds to stone you. 

How dare a woman—an unclean woman—touch the Teacher? How dare you come to him with your issues.

How dare you come with your anemia, your bleeding, your questions, your depression, your bipolar, your anxiety, your mania, your exhaustion, your losses, your loneliness, your sexuality, your gender identity, your cancer? How dare you come with your wounds from patriarchy? How dare you come with your wounds from racism? How dare you come with your trauma? Your pain?

But you did.

You had the audacity to do so because somehow, even though you had been bled dry and you were at the end of yourself, you sensed there was something different about this Teacher. After you had come up empty time after time, after doctors or well-meaning Christians had used up every last ounce of your strength, you still were willing to take a chance on this Jesus.

How could anyone still believe?

But you did.
You believed. 

And you took that journey from the edge of the crowd to the edge of his garment. 

You traveled your very own Exodus. 

He didn’t just heal your body; he healed your soul.

And now that you know, can never go back.

You know what it means to be healed and to be liberated. You’ve caught a glimpse of another Way. The Way of liberation calls even the most rejected among us to the center, to be held by the gaze of Jesus and to be restored. You have witnessed it, and you will witness it 10,000 more times if it would mean others could find this same liberation. 

It is too good.

It is so whole.

It is so holy. 

To be taken from the outskirts of society—to be so utterly alone and rejected and diminished—and then to find yourself so loved. So utterly loved. 

When you have tasted the outskirts like that, you don’t want anyone to suffer like that. You want to make room for everyone.

But you also know the crowd is not there for this. They would rather see you excluded and rejected, banished, bled dry or stoned than to make room for you here. 

But that is not Jesus wants.
Jesus makes room.
Jesus sees you.

And Jesus knows how many there are on the outskirts, how many long to come to his feet and touch the edge of the robe.

He doesn’t turn anyone away.

He never turns away those who are hungry to taste and eat from the Body of Christ.

So, now what?

Now that you have been healed and restored? What do you do now?

You simply keep walking this journey of liberation. You keep walking that path between the edges of society and the edges of Jesus’ hem. You keep walking this path—back and forth—and you tell the story of liberation. You bring the ones from the edges right to the feet of the Savior, the Liberator, the Lover. 

Some days your faith feels ridiculous. 

How dare you believe that there is room for everyone at the feet of the Body of Christ?

How dare you believe that there is room for every woman, every refugee, every LGBTQ2S+ person, every immigrant, every widow, every orphan … every person from every nation, tribe and tongue … every one. 

How dare you believe there is room and affirmation and inclusion for everyone?

But you are not about to lose Hope. You have always held onto a vision of Vitality and Goodness and Beauty. You are not about to let go of that. 

You believe.

You believe, because you were once excluded.
You believe, because you have looked into the face of Jesus and you saw his welcome.
You believe, because you have heard the words of Jesus who saw you and said, “Your faith has made you well.” 

You know that the Spirit of God is always making things new.

The Spirit of God is always making us new.

The Spirit of God is in the business of Renovation. 

Even when the scaffolding is up and the rot is visible in the floorboards, even when so many of the walls have crumbled, even when it seems like there is no hope, you choose to hope. You believe. You keep walking the journey of Liberation. You bring others along and together you find your way back and back and back to the edges of his garment and you keep returning to your knees to touch Him and receive the liberating power. 

Until He says,

Well done, Daughters of the Renovation.
You did not lose hope.
Your faith has made us well.