Touching the Cloak of Christ

June 25, 2021  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

hand reaching out for the sun

Look to today’s Gospel and you’ll find one of the most arresting images in all of Scripture. Christ in a crowd, everyone clamoring for his attention, pressing against him. Several feet away, is a chronically ill woman, weak and desperate for help. She knows she doesn’t have a chance of getting his attention. She has no connections. She has no strength. All she can do is lift up her hand.

So that’s what she does. She reaches out.

There comes a time, or maybe several times, in each of our lives when we become this woman. We’re tired and we’re sick. Is it with sin? With fear? With anger? It doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, it’s made us weak, and we feel like we’ve run out of options. We’ve looked for help and come up empty. We’ve consulted friends and gotten nowhere. We’re lost in the crowd of life, unable to stick our heads above the pressing throng to wave for help.

And there is Christ, always passing by us. The hem of his cloak is never far from our grasp. We have no hope of a big miracle like the synagogue leader. We don’t even bother asking for that. But that cloak … we can touch that cloak. That’s something we can do.

Do we do it, though? Do we have the confidence of that sick, beaten-down woman who knew so totally that healing was there for the taking? Or do we retreat back into the crowd, stumbling back home with our pain and our sinfulness? Reach out, friends. However, whatever, whenever — reach out. Christ will not fail you.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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