The Bible is full of numerous, nameless women. Sometimes, the most we have to go on to know their stories is a description of their condition. Such is the story of the unknown woman who appears in the Book of Luke, Chapter 8:
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
No one else in the crowd had witnessed this moment; indeed, it was the woman who eventually revealed herself within the crowd. She might have exited the crowd without being detected, without anyone to point a finger at her. Instead, she stepped forward. She was fearful of the response; we are told that she trembled. Did she tremble for being in front of Jesus, or for speaking in front of the crowd? We do not know, but we do know that she witnessed to the crowd, “in the presence of all the people.” She told them what she experienced. She revealed her faith. In doing so, Jesus proclaimed her “Daughter” and sent her out into the world where she could share her story with others.
A Collect for this Unknown Daughter
Merciful God, you revealed the power of your Son through the witness of one He called “Daughter.” Help us to share with others the good news of what you have done for us, even when it seems extraordinary, and even when we are afraid. Grant this for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.