Christian compassion can set a woman free.
One of the most beautiful stories in the Bible is the account of a woman who endured personal pain and risked social scrutiny to seek healing from Jesus. It’s the story of the woman with the issue of blood. This poor lady suffered from a bleeding disorder for years and spent all she had seeking the barbaric medical treatment of the time, The Bible doesn’t say as much but any woman reading that Scripture can pretty much guess her trouble was of the female variety.
In Jewish culture, that meant the desperate woman of our story was shunned by society since anything or anyone she touched would also become “unclean.” Yet she dared to jostle through a crowd to get close to the One she believed could bring her relief. Too timid to be blunt like scores of others had about their medical issues with the Master, she determined that touching his hemline would suffice. Jesus asked who had touched him and the terrified woman told the whole truth in front of that milling, impatient crowd. Jesus commended her faith and told her to go in peace, free from her suffering.
My friend, Susan Craft, belongs to a group of women who dare to love as Jesus loved. Through the ministry of Global Aid Network (GAiN) the group meet several times a week to make washable menstrual pads for impoverished women in developing countries. Here is Susan’s story about the compassion of Christ shown to a modern day social outcasts.
“Because of the lack of disposal systems and acute poverty, the women we’re sewing for cannot use disposable pads and are often ostracized and shamed into remaining at home during their menstrual cycles. The girls miss school, and their absences are counted against them. If they miss too many days, they cannot graduate to the next level.”
“These women don’t have access to feminine hygiene supplies. Many use rags, ash, coconut husks, or just sit for a week. We were stunned and touched by stories of women and young girls who can’t leave their homes or who are shunned during this sensitive time. Young girls can miss 20 percent of the school year, and women can lose time from work and cannot feed their families that week.
“With our hearts stirred for these women, we gathered all the things necessary to make the pads–sewing machines, fabric, thread, batting, snaps—and set to work meeting numerous times over several weeks. A gentleman in our church even fashioned wooden patterns for us to use. So far, we have made several hundred pads.”
“LuoPads (as they are called) can restore dignity to women by helping them reclaim control of their lives and take charge of their health. It also gives ministry partners the opportunity to tell these vulnerable and wounded women that Jesus loves them and values them.”
What a beautiful service project! Just think of what this says to a woman in an impoverished country. Someone cares about her most personal need, a need that impacts her life, her livelihood, and her hope. While a sack of rice might whisper the name of Jesus, a private bundle of feminine hygiene napkins shouts the love and compassion of Christ. It tells a woman that others know, understand, and are willing to help.
After Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He told them and us that we are to do as He has done for us – whether it’s washing feet or getting close enough to people to see their private pain.
How can you meet the deepest needs of the social outcasts among us?
Susan F. Craft, whom I have featured on this blog before, writes inspirational historical romantic suspense. Look for her newest book, Cassia, coming soon to an Amazon page near you.
“In my novels The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia, my main character, besides being a portrait and mural artist, is a healer. She’s a deeply caring person who ministers to others no matter what their background. There’s a scene where Lilyan has been imprisoned in the Exchange Dungeon. There she finds several woman in need of not only medical care, but also some compassion and TLC. That’s how I see our PAD Project.”