Originally published Thursday, 05 May 2016.
When you have toddlers, you have to make a lot of trips to the bathroom. It's never too fun either. Public bathrooms ARE ENEMY #1!
So, when I walked in and saw a lady doing what I am about to tell you, my stomach turned. It flipped and flopped and, all I can tell you is, my eyes so badly wanted to squint tight, silently telling her, "What the heck are you doing?"
Lined up on the counter were six triangular shaped pieces of toilet paper in a row. Each one of them had blood drenched tips. In her nose were two wads stuck up tight. She pulled them out - more blood.
This is disgusting! Who does this?
After finally getting dear daughter all set, we pushed out the door and played with the toys right beyond the bathroom door. But, as I sat, God pricked, "Kelly, where is your compassion. What happened to your heart?"
I remembered another woman. She was a bloody woman too. She was so bloody she was legally unclean. She was disgusting, she was deplorable. She was a societal "issue".
For 12 years she lived like a walking fountain of sickness (Luke 8:43), likely shunned, scorned, and embarrassed. Likely, feeling like she even hated herself. Likely, feeling alone.
Did people even care to know what was wrong with her? Did people hate to see "her issue"?
I am just like them.
Who disgusts you?
What issue do you hate to look at?
What makes you sick?
"And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me." (Luke 8:46)
She simply touched his hem, but did you notice what Jesus gave this woman? What he handed out? I have not heard in other places Jesus mention "virtue" as his healing.
Virtue in greek means dunamis.
Dunamis = power & might
Jesus restores not just what outwardly plagues us,
but restores insecurity and worry
with power and might.
It looks a lot like blood; blood poured out on the cross.
The lowly one healing.
The hated one loving.
The despicable blood moving, transforming, reforming...
To be like Jesus, we might consider doing the same - extending our strength to the unworthy? God's kindness leads to repentance, after all (Romans 2:4).
Who do you need to offer virtue to?
What if, when you get brushed against disgusting and despicable, you - strengthened the person?
Telling them God cares.
Showing your heart.
Explaining that you want to see theirs.
Offering compassion with no strings attached.
Letting your heart come to life...
I am not saying it will be easy, because the last thing I wanted to do was approach that lady. But, as she walked out the door, head down, and eyes trying to quickly catch my disdain - it is exactly what I wish I would have done. I only wish, I would have stopped her, talked to her, understood her and, maybe even, prayed for her.