• Ruined
  • Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
    August 2, 2016
    336 $27.12
    Buy Ruined from Amazon

Her arm stretched through the crowd, hoping to touch Jesus’ cloak. She didn’t need to fasten onto the cloth, only to let her fingertips graze it. The power surged like lightning. Jesus felt it too. “Who touched my robe?” Can you imagine the woman’s terror? Should she run, or should she account for her actions? She might have wished she could melt away. After all, what is more invisible than a middle-aged woman in a crowd?

Still, she came forward. She had broken fundamental laws and deserved punishment, but she came forward anyway. Her law-breaking was not because of her actions, per se, but because of the body she inhabited while doing those things. Women of childbearing age were always potentially unclean, but this woman was perpetually unclean due to constant menstrual bleeding. Yet she was out in public, touching people. She was breaking the purity laws.

We have much to learn from this unnamed lawbreaker. She was bleeding, she was desperate, but she also exemplifies the gifts that can follow deep pain: courage, boldness, audacity. If you have known her heartache, why not claim the gifts that can follow?

Are you feeling sick in body, mind, or spirit? Take every action that seems possible—and some that don’t. With courage, walk toward the source of healing. Jesus will reward these actions. Hear how he praised her! “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over” (v. 34). Like her, Jesus also compassionately calls you “daughter.”

Ruth Everhart is a Presbyterian pastor and the author of Ruined, which received a 2017 book award from Christianity Today. You can find her at, on Twitter at @rutheverhart, or on Facebook at RuthEverhartAuthor.