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For Your Weekend: Divine Timing

Caitlin Bean

Dig Deeper into Sunday’s Gospel: Read Mark 5:21–43

Silence. Studying. Glancing up at me. More silence. After what felt like an eternity, but was only a few minutes, he finally spoke: “You need surgery.” Relief washed over me, and I couldn’t help but smile and even laugh a little.

The doctor remained calm, seemingly unfazed by my reaction. Most people might find it strange to feel relief at the news of needing surgery, but I sensed he understood.

"Do you have any questions or concerns?" he asked.

"What if it’s not there?" I replied, though what I really meant was, "What if this is all in my head?"

"If you do not have endometriosis, I will be even more shocked than you," he assured me.

He believed me

The first doctor in twelve years to truly believe me. An answer to hundreds of days of prayer. 

After so many years of managing chronic pain, fatigue, unusual and irregular periods, and mysterious flare-ups that would send me to the ER doubled over in excruciating pain and sometimes even unable to walk, after years of seeking second, third, and fourth opinions, only to be told nothing was wrong or to have my symptoms dismissed; after so many years of doubting myself despite the intuitive sense that something must be wrong—that moment will forever stay in my mind. The feeling of truly being seen and believed was unparalleled. 

I find myself empathizing with the woman from tomorrow’s gospel who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. 

I only have a sliver of insight into what she was experiencing. Unlike her, I did not bleed every day for twelve years; I didn't face the financial ruin she did, thanks to the safety net of insurance. I wasn't cast out, deemed ritually unclean, and barred from my place of worship. My level of desperation and loneliness could not have been as profound as hers.

Yet, neither was my joy. For in the moment when she touched the hem of Jesus' garment, everything changed. The divine physician instantly healed her—no surgery needed, no temporary fix. Instead, she received a complete restoration of her life. How immense must the relief have been that she immediately felt that she had been healed of her affliction (Mark 5:29). How exuberant her joy was when she realized the implications of this healing. Jesus had freed her from her suffering, from her loneliness, from her exile. 

Perhaps most striking, Jesus calls the woman by her truest identity: daughter (Mark 5:34). How long had she been known as the woman who bleeds, the perpetually unclean one? How long had she reduced herself to her condition and experienced feelings of despair and hopelessness? But in that sacred moment, Jesus turned to her, not with condemnation or judgment, but with infinite compassion and love. It was as if He was saying to her, "You have always been, and will always be, my daughter. You are not your affliction, not some sin. You are my daughter. Go in peace, and in the face of your healing, remember this truth.”

In our lives, we often struggle with our own invisible ailments, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. We long to be seen, understood, and believed. We crave that moment of recognition and validation, where someone truly hears our cries and acknowledges our pain. For me, it took twelve long years to find a doctor who would finally listen and take my suffering seriously. For the hemorrhaging woman, it took twelve years before she encountered Jesus and received her miraculous healing.

What stands out to me in this story is not just the relief of being believed or the joy of being healed. It is the profound transformation that occurs when we encounter the compassionate gaze of Christ. In His eyes, we are not defined by our afflictions or our past. Rather, we are known, loved, and cherished as His children.

Today’s gospel serves as a potent reminder about the power of faith, the importance of perseverance, and the depth of Jesus' love. No matter how long we have suffered, there is always hope for healing and renewal. In the moments when we feel unseen and unheard, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus sees us, believes us, and calls us His own.

Perhaps you do not relate to the hemorrhaging woman as I do. There is another miraculous story in this gospel that we would be remiss to overlook: a desperate plea from a father for Jesus to save his daughter (Mark 5:23). It is on his way to Jairus’ house that the woman interrupts, if you will, the story. For a moment, it would appear that Jesus’ attention and focus on her caused too much delay. It would seem that Jesus is too late, for Jairus’ daughter dies. 

I wonder how anxious Jairus must have felt as he watched Jesus switch his attention to the woman. I wonder if he felt angry at Jesus for not responding more urgently, angry at this woman who shouldn’t have even been touching Jesus in the first place. 

Before Jairus could even protest, Jesus commanded him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith” (Mark 5:36). He then proceeded to go to Jairus’ daughter and not only heal her but raise her from the dead—an even greater miracle than what Jairus had originally asked for. 

This gospel also reminds us that the Lord is never outdone in generosity. His timing is perfect. He does not abandon us in our waiting. His power is not limited or diminished by time and circumstance. His love, mercy, and ability to be attentive to each of us is infinite. Jesus is not distracted by the prayers of someone else. He sees us, and He responds in His time and in His perfect way. 

Food for thought or journaling... 

In what ways are you currently seeking healing—physically, emotionally, or spiritually? How can you open yourself up to the compassionate gaze of Christ? How do you respond when God's timing doesn't align with your expectations? How can you cultivate a deeper trust in His perfect timing and unfailing generosity in your life?

Jesus, thank You for the gift of being seen and known by You. In moments of pain and uncertainty, grant me the faith to trust in Your perfect timing and compassionate care. May I always remember that I am not defined by my afflictions, brokenness, or sin but that I am Your beloved daughter. Amen.


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