Are you a fan of mysteries? Have you become adept at searching for clues? From the Bobbsey Twins and Hardy Boys, (oops, am I revealing my age?), to Matlock, Murder She Wrote, Forensic Files, et al, I have always enjoyed following a trail of clues in an endeavor to solve a mystery. I have learned that on occasion the evidence is found in plain sight (such as a fingerprint covered gun, a threatening note, or bloody footprints). No mystery there. There lies the smoking gun, the handwriting on the wall, so to speak.
At other times, the clues lie hidden beneath a few layers of information (perhaps in cell phone records, or easy to uncover contentious relationships). Although some time and effort may be required to unearth them, the clues can nevertheless be found in predictable places.
But often, the clues are not to be found in what is seen or said, but in what is NOT seen, or NOT said. (Such as the one room in the messy house that is spotless and reeks of bleach. The fact that there is ABSENCE of a mess in this environment is a clue. Or, if when interviewing a supposedly bereaved spouse, they do NOT ask how their loved one was killed, this should cause alarm bells to ring. The UNspoken often screams loudly).
Over the years, I have noted that if the camera lingers for just a second or two too long on something seemingly “insignificant,” (for instance a clock on the wall or a coffee cup by the sink), these objects will figure prominently in the solving of the mystery. After all, there must be SOME reason the screenwriter chose to “point” them out, leave them out of the scene, or provide you a way to figure them out.
Ahhhh, mysteries. They keep your mind investigating, calculating, running scenarios, trying to search out enough information to result in mystery solved. And sometimes… yes, every once in awhile, when you have reached the conclusion, you may find that you have in the process uncovered even a greater mystery. You may find that mysteriously, this investigative journey has transformed your life view as well.
So, why the above diatribe regarding mysteries? It is because, over the last few days, I have been on a search for clues in a mystery that I had read many times, yet had never before recognized as a mystery at all. It was an In Plain Sight mystery that has now come to my attention. I have been compiling a list of clues, and am now in the process of investigating each item on this list in my attempt to connect the dots. Would you care to come along and join the investigative team? I could use all of the help I can garner.
It all began one morning last week as I was praying for a young man who has a rare blood cancer. I was beseeching the Mighty Warrior to command the bone marrow to build healthy blood cells and to send His troops to defend against the enemy attacking Justin’s blood. It was at that time, that the Lord brought to my mind another person who had a blood issue; a woman whose story is recorded in Scripture.
Luk 8:43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
Do you see the many clues within this account? Let’s take a look at the list I have thus far compiled.
1. Of particular interest, is one notably missing element. A name; an identity. Who IS this woman and why is she NOT identified? A “missing clue” clue.
2. Why is it important for the reader to know that her sickness was an “issue of blood?” Surely this is like finding that extra coffee cup on the counter. This information does not belong here. Where did it come from? Who left it there?
3. Is the “twelve years” mentioned in this story significant? Why not ten, five, fifty? In fact, why do we need a number at all? Surely “a woman with an issue of blood for many years” would have sufficed. On the other hand, if the number is insignificant, why even have it recorded in Holy Writ at all? Me thinks the camera lingers a bit too long on the clock with hands at midnight. Surely this “insignificant” detail will prove to be not so insignificant at all!
4. Is the detail that this mystery woman took hold of the “fringe” of His garment information that is vital to understanding our story? I mean seriously, what’s with the fringe? Isn’t the fact that this information is included at all, somewhat like the detective finding a random number written on a notepad beside the victim? We know it’s significant, but we are not yet sure why.
5. Why was her touch different than that of the others pressing in on Him? Why did this seemingly insignificant touch result in a release of power? The disciples did seem surprised at Yeshua/Jesus’ notice of this particular touch. . Perhaps we should take note of the witness statements.
6. What was this faith that resulted in her healing? Was it just really, really REALLY believing that she would receive what she so wanted….or was it something more?
Oh, and one last entry on our list of clues;
7. The last words recorded in this passage are from Rabbi Yeshua/Jesus Himself. “Go in peace.” What did He mean? Is this purely poetic? Was He simply instructing this mystery woman that she should not worry about anything? Or could there be something more? Is it important that we understand these instructions?
And now, our list is complete. Perhaps you may think of other clues embedded in this story. In the next post, we will see if our investigation has thus far unearthed any evidence that will aid us in our endeavor to solve this mystery. Will we have lifted fingerprints or received DNA analysis reports?
And if in the end, we come away with enhanced understanding, might it be possible that it will impact your life, as well as mine in a personal and significant way?
Meet me here soon for Mystery Woman Part Two – Identity Crisis
Until then — continue to search for clues and – Happy Sleuthing