The whole truth
|A pub in Carndonagh (Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal) Ireland|
Click here for the readings for today.
This is one of those Sundays in which the lectionary serves up a buffet. So many readings, so many stories, so many points, so little time.
And so I shall simply focus on the end of the story of the woman cured of her hemorrhaging. She reached out and touched Jesus secretly, and he felt the power go out of him. So he turned and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." (NRSV)
She told him the whole truth. She made her confession, in a way. And it healed her.
Telling the truth is not always easy. We all know children, perhaps our own, perhaps our own selves as children, who cannot own up to something even when the evidence is right in front of them. Not to mention adults! Who wants to admit the truth about something about which they feel shame? Who wants to admit infirmity and frailty? Who wants to admit mistakes?
Who wants to look bad in front of Jesus?
The woman was afraid. She'd tried to be secretive. She thought she had upset Jesus and that he was going to upbraid her.
But she told the whole truth. And she was healed.
She named her action and with it her condition and her pain. And it no longer had power over her. It no longer ruled her life. It no longer possessed her. She was free. She was healed.
I still don't want to look bad in front of Jesus, but I know that this story is true. I know that saying the whole truth to God (and sometimes everybody, but not always) is the way to healing. I know that there is a difference between fixing a problem and being healed. I didn't always know it, but I do now.
And so I pray for the courage to name the truth, especially the truth about myself, knowing that by doing so I will be made well.