This article's up at The Gospel Coalition here.

Which Bible character best represents us, as a society, in this COVID-19 moment? My vote is for the “bleeding woman” of Luke 8. Let me explain why.

When she first comes to Jesus, we’re told she’d “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” (Luke 8:43).

A few observations. First, she’s lonely. She’s been social distancing for 12 years! I was going crazy after 12 days. Israel had laws for contagious diseases in the Old Testament, which kept her at arm’s length from polite society. A few months ago, we might have found such policies archaic or cruel, but now we get it: we understand their significance for public health. 

Like her, many of us are lonely right now, shut in our homes, becoming experts on Zoom. Social distancing can, over the long haul, have a negative effect on our mental health. We were made for relationship, by a relational God. For some, this season’s isolation has only exacerbated a sense of desertion felt for years: the spouse who left, the friend who stabbed you in the back, the dad you never knew. 

Second, the bleeding woman is also broke. She’s spent “all her living” on doctors. The bank account is empty, the money dried up, her hope likely gone. We can relate to her on this point, too…

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