Twenty-six was too young to have such a degenerative disease. But she did. She drifted from shelter to shelter but could never remain in one place because of her condition. Some twelve years ago her family had abandoned her since her condition was unacceptable to bourgeois. She had no friends. She lived on the outside. Alone.
One morning she sat under a busy overpass drinking cold coffee when she saw a group of men walking on the opposite sidewalk. Suddenly she found herself standing up as she tried to make sense of what she saw. Could it be? She moved out of the darkness and into the daylight. The sun bathed her body and exposed her sores. Blood gradually meandered down her leg.
Slowly she followed. Bare feet upon the stone sidewalk. Now close enough, she overheard the men speaking. Some were speculating if he could really do it. Others followed in silence. Then all came to a stand still at the crosswalk.
The woman had come this far, she had no reason to turn back. She knelt down and crawled between the men. Nervously, she reached out her hand and closed her eyes. Her fingers quivered in the dark, grey shadows as she elongated her arm and winced her brow.
It was a soft, whisper-like graze of his pants. Like a gentle word was spoken by her finger tips. Yet, almost antithetically, she felt an overwhelming jolt of power in a place within. A place behind her heart.
And all of the sudden her bleeding ceased. Her sores were no more. They were merely scars. And the woman immediately cowered in fear. For she realized that she was dealing with something more powerful than she had anticipated.
"Who touched me?" asked the man.
One of the young men spoke up, "We're standing in a crowd on a city block and you ask 'Who touched me?'" They all laughed and jabbed at him. "I'm touching you!" "No, it was me!"
The man continued to look around. When the joking died down it was silent. Immediately the woman made her presence known. At first, she stood. The men were startled. But immediately she fell down at his feet in fear and trembling and told him the whole truth.
But the man in the center looked at her and said, "Daughter! Your faith has made you well."
The woman slowly raised her face from the ground. Her eyes moved from the dark, shadowy ground toward the light of day and the voice above. By the time she met his gaze the tears in her eyes refracted the sunlight so that she could not even see.
And then he spoke again, "Go in peace! And be healed of your disease."
The young woman could still barely see who it was who was speaking to her. Reaching down to her tattered dress she lifted a the stale fabric to her face and wiped her eyes. When she opened them she saw nothing but the pale, blue sky. Light abounded.
Immediately turning to the horizon, she saw the group of men walking some distance away.