You can’t know what it means for me to be with you today.
I am beyond excited to give my praise to God before you.
Since the first sense of my healing, I have been overcome with joy.
But I am also a little afraid.
I only want my testimony before you today to bring glory to God.
I am so very grateful for His profound blessing on my life.

Mine was a 12-year journey filled with discouragement, anger, confusion,
pain both physically and emotionally.
Physicians – the ones who proclaim to be experts –
those who used to be friends - even my family – all of them turned away.
Banned from the Woman’s Court at Temple and
shunned by my neighbors,
my life was lonely and hollow.
I felt isolated and useless. Totally alone.

Only my mother.
When she was walking by herself, she would look for me.
From a distance we allowed our eyes to meet.
We said so much in those moments.
Her look would hold me up and melt courage into my soul.

When I heard about Him, this prophet, I was deep in my affliction
with no friends, no money, no cure, and precious little hope.
So, I can’t really explain what overcame me that day.
Even the risk of ridicule did not hold me back.

On that morning crisp air greeted me as the sun broke over the horizon
with the promise of change. Something stirred inside.
I breathed deeply for strength as I walked along the outskirts of town.

I needed to feel connected. I needed something. Someone.
So, I took a chance and covered my head
crawling deep inside the folds of my robe.
I reasoned that if I stayed far away, I wouldn’t risk contaminating anyone.

You see, the reason for my seclusion was that
my flow had begun 12 years before.
And hadn’t stopped.
According to the Law I was unclean and anyone who touched me
would be unclean.
I was denied entrance into the temple. I had to stay on the outside.
I no longer belonged.

I heard that He was coming. I knew the stories.
He was a prophet and healer who they called Jesus of Nazareth.
And there was evidence that He healed. 
He had brought the dead back to life.
He healed so many and spoke with knowledge and authority
far beyond even some of our priests and rabbis.
I was anxious to see him for myself.

A churning like hunger began in my belly that day
and it was overwhelming.
This gnawing pulled me forward.
I had to find out if He was the One.

I heard the enormous crowd before I saw it.
As they rounded the corner, I could see everyone pressing together.
And then I caught a glimpse of His face for just a moment.
It was an ordinary face but His eyes…O they held such peace.
I was frozen for a moment unable to move.
If there was a cure for me,
my healing was held in those eyes. I just knew it.

I had to make my way near the crowd unnoticed.
So, I pulled my cloak even tighter over my head.
The heat of the morning sun pulled tiny beads of sweat from my skin.

As I made my way closer the murmuring became clear.
They were talking about a little girl who was on the verge of death.
She was only 12 years old. How strange I thought.
Her life began at the beginning of my affliction.
She was facing death and He was on His way to heal her.
How could I trouble Him with my need?

I needed to become part of that crowd, but fear gripped at my feet.
What if I was discovered? What would happen if they knew it was me?
I moved closer wincing as my shoulders touched those around me.
They were now unclean and didn’t even realize.
Was I just being selfish?

Something was pulling me forward.
I had to get through the crowd to reach this prophet.
Close now I could see Him walking just before me surrounded by his disciples.

All I wanted to do was to touch His robe.
Just the edge of a tassel was all I needed.
If He could heal with a word, then surely His touch…

Please O Please I thought.
I was convinced that He was the One who could heal me.
No one else.

I almost paused out of fear.
But by this time, I was caught up in the crowd.
I needed to keep moving or be trampled.

I finally saw my chance and took it.
If I could just touch his robe.
I bent forward and stretched out my arm.

As the tips of my fingers grazed the cloth, I felt something shift deep inside.
A surge of energy flowed up my arm through my body.
I could feel the healing as it happened.
The bleeding stopped!

I stood completely still as the crowd moved forward without me.
At that same moment the Prophet turned and asked who had touched Him.
My world began to shatter as I realized that I had been found out.
Somehow, He knew.

I fell to my knees and began crawling towards Him.
The crowd noticed and made room for me.
My cloak had fallen away, and I was exposed.
They saw me in my shame once again.
Their whispering told me they knew who I was.

“Who touched me?” He was saying.
I rose on my knees with my head down
and raised my hand fearing His anger.

Then He reached for me and helped me up from the ground.
He touched me!
He raised my chin with a soft hand and smiled at me.
There was so much love in His eyes
that my heart leapt within my chest.

“Be of good cheer, Daughter, your faith has made you well.
Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

He told me that my faith had healed me.
He called me Daughter as if I belonged to Him.

I could hardly believe this was happening.
So long had I hoped and waited and prayed.
Even though I was not welcomed at the temple I still prayed.
Day and night asking for mercy. A miracle.
Now my prayers had been answered and I was well!

People around me were pointing.
Someone said my name.
But it wasn’t in fear or disgust but with awe.

Now I realize that more than my body was healed that day.
My lonely, starved soul woke up and was filled with purpose.
I didn’t realize that it was faith.
It truly felt more like desperation.
But that’s what He said.
My faith had made me well.

The last seeds of hope,
though small and still had kept my faith alive
until deliverance came.

To many tears and questions poured from my heart over those years.
Questions like why me?
And what have I done to deserve this?

I know now that this affliction was the path to my wholeness.
There was a part of me that needed a cure
that no human could provide.
It is not just about physical affliction
but about spiritual emptiness.
For me the healing of my body was the
outward sign of the
deliverance of my soul.

Everyone must walk their own path; I know that now.
Each of us must fight through disbelief and fear
to that place where Jesus lives,
where we can breathe and
find His purpose and His peace.

With every chance now I sing the praise of
Jesus who healed me.
Jesus who took away the shame that was my life.
Jesus who called me daughter.

He will forever be my song.
I will live now in full out praise holding nothing back.

I met Jesus of Nazareth and my life changed forever.
He called me to become His daughter as He calls each one of us.
Don’t be afraid to reach for Him.
Don’t be afraid to take His hand.

2022 © Charlene M Campanella
(May not be used or reproduced in any fashion without written consent from the author)
 Image courtesy of

The sun was prickly hot that day.
My feet stirred up sand that clung to my ankles 
and stuck to the back of my throat
His voice still pounded in my head with each step.
“You had best mind yourself, woman. You will be out on your tail 
with nowhere to go if you continue to bother me with your selfishness.
Keep to what you know, Mara, and we will get just along fine.”

Then he pushed me against the wall.
I squeezed my eyes shut and gritted my teeth to block out the inevitable,
my mind searching for a place to hide.  
Somewhere quiet
a place apart where I could breathe.

He had gambled and lost a bet so we would be without money 
again for the week.
If only he would keep his arrogance in check,
perhaps we could move out of the cramped one room stable 
I called home.
He was angry because I asked how we would buy food.
My arm and soul throbbed with the memory of it all.

It was always the same.
My life was filled with dreams that had gone wrong.
Each promise had dissolved and sat bitter in my mouth.
Every time I resolved to make a better life my options would betray me.

It was a matter of choice really and I continually made the wrong ones.
But a woman like me didn’t have many choices.
Once you pick a direction it’s a slow glide from one bad situation 
to the next. 

At the beginning of my widowhood I was shown such kindness.
Offers to help were many.
in my mourning I began wondering down dark alleys and found people
even more lost than I.
In the company of people who had long ago lost hope,
I stopped hoping as well.
The light and warmth of any security faded.
Walking this path each day reminds me of the darkness 
in which I merely existed.

But that day while on my way to get water,
I looked up and noticed a figure sitting by the well.
It was a man.
A Jew judging by the way he was dressed.

Perhaps I could get away unnoticed.
This man wouldn’t speak to me.
I could fill the jar and be on my way.

Even if it had been a woman   
 I could have gotten away without a word.
But there would be a sneer or an indirect comment.
Something designed to break me down
put me in my place.

That’s why I came to the well at midday when the sun was at its hottest.
The other women would be cool in their homes tending 
obedient children
and preparing for the return of loving husbands.
That world was far from my reality.

So I made a wide circle to approach from the opposite side.
While I filled my jar     
I sensed that he was looking right at me.
I wondered why this man was in our town.
The disdain the Jews had for my people was intense.
We were called half breeds and I was at the bottom of the pile.

Slowly I snuck a sideways glance.
He was looking right at me with       
the softest eyes I   had   ever   seen.
The moment froze while I felt those eyes penetrate 
right through my heart
Deep into my soul where no one had ever been.
There was kindness in those eyes.

I quickly looked away and finished filling the jar.
The last thing I needed in my life was another man.
No matter his gentle eyes, they were all the same.
In the end there would be heartache and emptiness.

But His voice as he spoke was kind     
and    somehow     
I couldn’t resist.

He asked me to bring Him a drink of water.
I said, “Why are you asking me, a Samaritan woman for water.”
He said that I didn't know who I was speaking to.
He said that he had "living water" to give.
He said that it was from God.

Well He sounded a little too full of himself   
I asked Him if He was greater than our father Jacob 
who dug the well.

This man promised that He had water
that would quench my thirst once and for all
and that I would never be thirsty again.
Not only that but this water would make a well inside of me
that would overflow forever!

When He spoke next I knew He must be a prophet.
He told me about my life but    
with such patience and grace    
that all I felt was relief.
And those eyes.
Was that love I saw?

I thought, “No Mara, don’t go there. 
That’s where you get in trouble.”

But what He offered was different.
It wasn’t based on what I was but     
on who He was.
The emptiness I felt couldn't be satisfied 
with what I was choosing.

As I listened to Him     
I realized that He knew me better than I knew myself.
He somehow knew the deep down hidden pain that 
I thought I’d masked so well. 
There was no hiding from the ugliness I had been
His tenderness accepted me just where I was.          

Still He was a Jew and they worship differently than we Samaritans.
And I told Him that.
He told me that salvation is for the Jews but      
a day was coming when God would be looking for those 
who worship   
in  spirit      
and truth.

He said that it wasn’t about location or lineage but about my spirit
Because God is Spirit.

I told Him that the Messiah was coming
and when He came He would tell us the truth and make it all clear.

Then He said “I who speaks to you AM He.” 

I could hardly believe what He was saying.
He was the Messiah,         
the promised one?

My mind fought against what my heart was beginning to realize.
All of a sudden it made sense.

It was like somewhere a door had been opened and 
bright light was shining through.
My darkness was overtaken by  
a fluttering   hope.

The overwhelming peace in not having to pretend was incredible.
I had never felt so loved.
Knowing the ugliness of my past and my present
didn't seem to matter to Him.

My future began in that very moment.
I felt my heart weep with joy that I could not contain.
Tears made straight paths down my dusty face.

I left my jars and ran home to tell anyone who would listen that
Messiah knew all about me and loved me anyway!

Ever since that day, I’ve felt bathed in the warmth of mercy 
and grace.
I no longer live under religious rules and rituals,
I live in a spiritual relationship through the Word of truth.

Who can foresee the things that will change our lives?
Perhaps seeing them ahead of time would make 
the final change of heart less glorious.
Living without hope at the end of a rope makes the saving grace
all the more sweet.

I changed that day in ways that will forever mystify me.
Secret places and dark corners of fear where swept clean. 
That woman who went daily in shame to the well,
thirsty and worn
now lives face upturned
drenched daily with the quenching water
from His heart.

When the Spirit of God looks down,
He now sees  my spirit looking back
with overflowing hope splashing wherever I go!

From John  4:1-30 

2018 © Charlene M Campanella  
(May not be used or reproduced in any fashion without written consent from the author)
 Image courtesy of

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