We’ve all heard the saying:
“One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure.”
This pretty much defines my style of shopping. I love a good thrift store! Actually, I even love a bad thrift store; with piles, & isles, & that smell that you only find in a thrift store. I also love garage sales, estate sales, & have been known to stop for abandoned furniture on the side of the road.
My husband begs me to spend my money in a “real store” but I often feel sick about price tags & find myself escaping back to my favorite resale store looking for treasures. I’m one of those weirdos I guess, I celebrate over a vintage bag, a like new dress, & 1970’s furniture!
Not long ago on my way home from the doctor, I stopped at the Goodwill in San Antonio. Looking through the purses, I spotted it! An Australian leather, cross body purse, perfectly worn in. I snatched it up for a whopping $6!
I can’t help but think how silly it is that a thrifting find can bring me joy. And I can’t believe how often I find items of real value discarded & sold greatly under priced.
You know what though… We do this everyday. We overlook & discredit the value in ourselves & others. We fail to attribute the value the Lord placed on people (including ourselves). We look on the outside; all we see are our mistakes, our shortcomings, our flaws. We focus on all the ways we don’t measure up. We may not say it out loud, but we think it. “I’m not going to call so & so, they wouldn’t want to get coffee with me. Man, I’m so fat. I can’t apply for that position, they wouldn’t want me. I could never wear that hairstyle with my ugly face.” And on the list goes… We diminish our value based on how we feel about ourselves.
But Jesus, throughout the New Testament gives us examples about how He feels about us. Jesus, the only son of God, sees you, sees me, sees everyone as valuable. And not because of anything we’ve done; in fact, He loves us despite all the ways we’ve screwed up.
Mark 5:25-34 is one of those stories. I love it from the message translation because it is just so easy to visualize that day.
“A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!” But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.””
Mark 5:25-34 MSG
It starts with a woman & let’s just get real right here, she was on her period for 12 years straight! That is a nightmare! I mean I had a hysterectomy last summer & I do not miss that, not one little bit. And in that day, a bleeding woman was a throw away. She would have been forced to live outside the city with the others who were sick. Jews would have been forbidden near her unless they wanted to be considered unclean too. She’d tried all the pills, creams, shots, patches, drinks, etc… Nothing worked & now she had NO money left. She heard about Jesus, heard he was healing the sick. She thought if I just touch his robe, I will be healed.
So she put herself out there, she not only went into the city, she went into a huge crowd. I love the way many commentators say she touched the hem of his garment. Doesn’t that paint a beautiful picture of determination & humility. She didn’t need a big scene. She crawled into the crowd hoping to go undetected & reaches out to touch his robe. And boom! She knows she’s healed! But oppsies, Jesus knows too. He could have kept walking, she still would have been healed; but he turns & starts looking for her. The disciples think he’s lost it “Um… Jesus of course someone touched you. News flash, we are surrounded here.” Jesus explains this is different & she knows she has to step out of the crowd. She’s so afraid she’s shaking as she tells Jesus what she’s done.
Have you ever been that afraid? Right before having my oldest, they took me back for my spinal epidural before the c-section. I was so nervous, my whole body trembled uncontrollably. The nurse just held me & assured me all would be fine, I just couldn’t get my body to believe that.
So picture her in the street surrounded by people who have walked away from her for 12 years. She’s probably wearing the blood covered robe of her years of sickness, she’s trembling, she’s afraid. The people who’ve judged her looking on. But she was willing to go there for a chance at being healed.
How does Jesus respond? Like only Jesus can, he eases her heart with his words. He calls her daughter! It doesn’t matter how many people are special to my mom & dad; only me & my sister get the honor of being their daughter. Of all the kids I love & have taught, only Mckenzie gets the title of my daughter. That is a special word, a word of honor. He names her as a part of his family. Her faith in him & in his ability to heal her was what gained his attention & praise!
So what can we learn?
We can learn there are things in our life that often leave us feeling ashamed & left out. Sometimes the shame is because of choices we’ve made which we regret, or it can be we are ashamed of the choices others made who were supposed to love & protect us. We can feel ashamed or less than because of life situations we had zero control over.
This issue of shame cannot be healed by anything money can buy. We must go to the Lord. We must reach out in faith knowing that Jesus alone has the ability to heal our brokenness. And the greatest part of this story is that Jesus persues us! He sees us! In our dirty, stinky, bloody mess, He sees us. He gives us a title with honor. He calls us DAUGHTER! And we are able to walk away healed & new! Don’t you know she lived confidently after her encounter with Jesus! I am encouraging you to go & live the same!
Also, see people as Jesus did. Put yourself in his place. The disciples were distracted by the large crowd & didn’t see the woman at all. She was desperate & in need & yet they didn’t notice her. Look for those who are searching & respond to them with gentleness like Christ. This world is broken, but are you too distracted to notice? Just like I noticed & redeemed that leather purse from a thrift store pile, the Lord wants to use you to redeem those who are searching.
Stop seeing yourself & others as broken, dirty, useless, old, ready to be discarded trash, but instead see yourself as the treasure the Lord has created you to be!