Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lucky to have cancer

I don't mean to be offensive, or glib...I just have to tell you, that sometimes, I feel guilty that I have cancer. Cancer-the Boogeyman of disease and sickness. The one that commands respect-compassion-service-unconditional love. And, I am the recipient of all of these, because I-have cancer.

I can't help but think how different this experience would be if I had something else. Something less feared, and more loathed. Something less well known, and more inviting of skepticism. And what if I had something contagious?!

There's a sick woman in the Bible in The gospel of Mark, chapter 5. She did not have cancer. We know her as "the woman with an issue of blood", and she had it for 12 years! Furthermore, what she had made her "unclean". Someone to avoid, or your whole day was going to be spent in purification rites. Someone who-who knows?-might be contagious!

And if you know the story, you know that she secretly reached out and touched Jesus' clothes-believing it would be enough to heal her.

And it was! She was healed: "Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction." (Mark 5:29 NKJV)

Fantastic! Jesus didn't have to be bothered, and she could move on in relative anonymity.

But Jesus was bothered. He made a big deal out of it. "Who touched me?."

Why would Jesus embarrass her like this? And, furthermore, why should Jesus (Son of God) have to ask such a question?

You see, Jesus was bothered, not by the indignant act of someone touching Him-neither did He worry that His question would make Him seem more human and less deity-but, He simply couldn't let her leave with only a partial healing.

"But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. (Mark 5:33 NKJV)

Which He already knew. It was she-and everyone else that needed to know "the whole truth".

Which Jesus related perfectly, in His response to her:

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34 NIV84)

Do you see what Jesus accomplished in 2 sentences? Look closely:

"Daughter"-He identified her with a term of endearment, effectively calling her family.

"your faith"-He commended her to others (who had looked sideways at her and her problems-that she'd most likely brought on herself).

"has healed you"-He proclaimed her well. So that everyone would know, and no one would be able to doubt. (And if they did, they would be doubting Jesus- not this "undesirable woman").

"Go in peace"-She could exhale now.

"and be freed"-No more restraints.

It wasn't enough for the woman to be physically healed. Jesus wanted to restore this "daughter" completely and unequivocally.

I have cancer. And as far as cancer's go, I have a very manageable one.

I am lucky.

Let's look around us for the women "with the issue of blood".

Let's touch them.

Let's call them daughter and sister.

Let's pray for their healing. Let's free them from their suffering at the hands of-not their diseases-but their fellow man.

We have such power: peace and freedom are ours to bestow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Absolutely LOVE this. Thank you.

  2. This touched a part of me that needed healing! Awesome!

  3. Thank you once again Lisa...
    for your understanding and strength...
    We all need to look at each other with that kind of confidence that says... you have touched me... I ask that you would be healed, accepted, and restored...
    And we all at some point desperately need someone to do that for us...
    Once again... you have done just that for me... helped me to know my shame has no place in the embrace of my God and that healing is possible
    Thank you for being that one who stops what they are doing and touches the heart of the hurting

  4. Wow. That was beautiful, Lisa. God will work through this to touch many people.

  5. I am glad you explained this because I have often wondered why Jesus asked, "Who touched me?" since He had to have known who did it. And since I wasn't there, I couldn't get the sense of what He meant just by reading it-- was He saying it with care and concern or did He use an angry tone of voice? Based on how she reacted, I thought maybe the latter. Also, was it unacceptable during that time for others to touch Jesus (was that against any Jewish or secular "rule" of the time)? My mind somehow gets "stuck" on the little things that probably don't matter as much as what Jesus was teaching us. I get confused by parables and by symbolic references and miss the flashing light of the actual message. I don't feel guilty about this, though, since He knows I'm only human!!

    Thank you for being my teacher, Lisa, even when you didn't know it. I pray that you continue to live and love as one of His faithful students - always learning and wanting to know more. Oh, and can you keep teaching this way so that my little human brain will actually "get" it? :)

  6. Lisa, your writing is beautiful and extremely thought provoking! Thank you for sharing it with us and encouraging us to seek the physician and reach out to him - no matter what our infliction may be. Love you!

  7. Yes! So true. I recently realized that as I've been praying every day for the past 2 years, "God, heal me", He has been doing that in more ways than I could imagine. He's healing past hurts, and wounds, and shame and creating in me a new heart...which has brought more joy than just a physical healing ever could. Praying for you dear friend. Thank you so much for allowing us to learn on this journey with you.

  8. I loved this Lisa! Praying everyday for you! Thank you!

  9. You are oozing with the Holy Spirit, girl! He is at work in you and mightier things are coming! Lord, heal and restore our sister's health completely! Thank you for speaking through her at such a time as this...not many are in the right frame of mind to let You speak...but she is! God bless her! Amen! Praying for you, precious one!

  10. "Close your eyes for a moment...
    Think of the wildest dream.
    The biggest hope.
    The more you long for.
    And then open your heart to this...
    Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory. Ephesians 3:20-21
    You can't out-dream, out-hope, out-do God.
    And how does it happen?
    Through his power within us.
    Within you.
    We want God to hand us what we want
    He says instead, "Take my hand and watch what we can do together."
    It may not be what we have in mind.
    But it's guaranteed to blow our minds.
    With goodness. With grace.
    With more than we ever thought possible.
    Are you ready?" Holly

  11. Most of us, in your position would say "haven't I had enough to deal with god"...keep being a light lady.

  12. You have such the perfect words for what I need to hear from God and other people to understand what I can't explain about me! Thank you!

  13. I just ran accross your blog and absolutely love your post. I would love to share my blog with you it is at Thank you for your post it spoke revelations to me this morning. - Helen

  14. As one of those women with an issue of blood (pre-hysterectomy that is!) I appreciate this post. What I love the most is that Jesus didn't blow her off. He didn't pass her by because she was a woman or minimize her female "issue". After all, we've all got issues, some are just more obvious than others. Beautiful post my DAF!

  15. WOW thank you Lisa! You are an amazing Sister of God to know. Your blog reaches so many women. Thank you! Love you!

  16. Lisa what a gift you are to the body. I love your heart that is chasing after Jesus or should I say pressing into Him. And as you journey you are touching so many lives with HIS heart, love and care. So glad to have you as my sister, and being able to grow in my relationship wiht Jesus as I read your insightful blog.Tnaks for sharing!
    Hugs( cyndy )

  17. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I never understood that passage and my eyes are opened. :) Praying for you.