An Issue of Blood

By Zachary Collier

Twelve years with an issue of blood, I sat in a market without money, nor hope.
fffI’d sought healing from leading physicians, but for all that I gave I gained little.
fffNe’er did their treatments relieve my duress, save once: during harvest last autumn.
fffBut quickly I found I’d spent all that I had, and not bettered, I rather grew worse.
fffMy body was failing – falling apart – and I soon found the words of Isaiah
fffWere written, in part, to describe my affliction as I sat in that market alone.
Instead of sweet smell I had only a stench; my girdle was tattered and torn.
fffMy face was now splotched, for instead of great beauty, my face was there marked
fffffffffwith a burning.
fffMy well set hair had long since fallen, unnumbered by God to the ground.
fffA bald, scaly scalp was my crown to wear all because of my issue of blood.
fffBy chance, I saw Someone passing me by, surrounded by numerous hosts
fffOf people who wanted to learn of His doctrine, or snare Him and put Him to death.
When I’d heard of this Man called Jesus the Christ, I pressed in the great throng behind.
fffFor, said I, if I touch but His clothes, I’ll live with affliction no more.
fffAnd so I drew closer – did I really believe? Was He the Beloved of God?
fffA prayer on my lips, I reached out for this Man, and touched but the hem of His robe –
fffA robe for which Romans would cast all their lots, hoping to win a small part
fffOf the cloth that once covered the King of the Jews whom they knew would forever
fffffffffbe known:
As the King put to death by the people whose taxes He paid for so they would go free;
fffThe Shepherd who wandered in wilderness bare just to find the one lamb who was
fffThe One who was kind, and who stopped by the way to heal a man wounded by
fffThe Son of the Husbandman, sent to collect on those who were dastardly stewards.
fffThe Captain, the Savior, Redeemer of Men, the Stone in the dream of old Daniel
fffWho’d roll down the mountain and fill the whole world and set up a kingdom eternal.
This was the robe that my hand barely grazed. “Who touched me?” He asked with a
fffDisciples cried out: “O, how sayest thou, ‘who touched me?’ amidst this great crowd?”
fff“I know this because the virtue has gone from my heart to the soul of another;
fffLet’s stop and consider the souls in this crowd: was it you, over there in the corner?”
fffHe parted the sea of disciples and critics and found me, in tears, by the stable.
fffI fell at His feet, but He lifted me up, saying “Go, and be whole of thy plague.”
Knowing the change that was wrought in my body, I asked of Him how it was so.
fff“Because of thy faith thou art rendered again complete and without any issue.”
fffThe Christ left me then in the market alone to sit myself down and consider
fffHow  gracious He was, how wise, how divine – how careful, how so full of love.
fffHe’d taken my problem, my plague of twelve years, and with Him would carry it on
fffTo a cold, lonely garden, Gethsemane dear, and make mine His issue of blood.



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