On the 9th of this month, I had a second laparoscopy for my endometriosis. In the week leading up to it, I found my anxiety mounting and felt that I should listen to some uplifting music. In the 90s Kenneth Cope produced a musical program called “Woman at the Well”, devoted to stories of women in the scriptures and their testimonies of Jesus Christ.
Through the years, I have been particularly drawn to the story of a woman found in Luke 8 (this is the most detailed account of the incident in the gospels, but other details are added in the accounts in Matthew 9 and Mark 5).
As Jesus is on the way to the home of Jairus, whose daughter is dying, he and his disciples are caught in a throng of people. In that crowd came a woman that had had an issue of blood for twelve years. She had spent everything she had seeking medical care from physicians, but nothing could be done to heal her issue. From behind him, she reached and touched the hem of his clothes. “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” Immediately, her bleeding stopped. She was whole. Jesus, feeling the power that had flown from him, asks who has touched him. She had attempted to hide, but trembling, came and fell before him, and told him everything. Why she had touched him, and how she had been healed instantly. To this he answers, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”
This account resonates with me for, perhaps, obvious reasons. I am a woman that has an “issue” of blood (though I haven’t been outwardly bleeding for twelve years, I have suffered excessive bleeding and pain associated with my menstrual cycles since they began for me at age 13 – namely, endometriosis). However, this is not just a story for women. This is a story for all of us.
It was in this light, that I found myself being prompted to perform a special musical number, featuring the song “Close Enough to Touch” from the previously mentioned musical program by Kenneth Cope. No mental protestation of mine could bear the overwhelming feeling that I needed to sing this song. This was in the back of my mind as I made arrangements for my family so I could have my surgery.
Many friends helped make getting this surgery possible. They were gracious and accommodating as plans changed and changed again. The night before my procedure, my baby had a fever. The childcare I had arranged for him would no longer be prudent, as those dear ladies have new babies at home. A wonderful surrogate mother of mine in the ward was willing to take my sick baby, and care for him until my husband could come for him.
On the day of surgery, Pittsburgh was blanketed with thick snow. My two older children, would not be having school as expected. Another dear friend, who had texted me to let me know that school was cancelled, offered to take them for the day. She took them to the Children’s Museum with yet another dear friend, and my children had a wonderful day.
Since we didn’t know what time I would be going in until the night before, I felt blessed that my visiting teacher was ready and willing to come sit with my children in the evening when it would be time for Dave to come and meet me in recovery and take me home from the hospital. The same sweet lady who took my sick baby, watched him again (much happier with antibiotics) the following day. She also cleaned my kitchen stove and put the downstairs in order while he (and I) napped. We received meals, notes of encouragement, and assistance with our children. I was allowed the time I needed to make adequate recovery by these wonderful people.
Today, with a dear friend as my pianist, I did that musical number.
Today, I couldn’t stop crying as I sang about someone who reached for the Savior.
We all have hidden sufferings that we might be tempted to try to bear alone. We could spend all our effort trying to resolve or relieve them ourselves. But like this woman, we must learn that wholeness, comes through faith in Jesus Christ. It is no shame to have weaknesses. It is no shame to need help. Reach out to the Savior, so he can heal you.
I reached out to the Savior, and he reached back with my friends.
He is always close enough to touch.