Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Hem of His Garment

The Hem of His Garment

18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the hem of his garment. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.
26 News of this spread through all that region.

I was sitting in Church on beautiful sunny spring Sunday and our minister, started preaching from Matthew. My ears really perked up because he was talking about a man whose daughter had died and he believed if Jesus came and touched her she would live again. Pretty extraordinary stuff and definitely a part of the bible I hadn’t read lately.

This man’s faith caught my attention. I was really struggling. I was in my Junior Year of High School, not my best year. I had developed a frightening case of acne that had scared more than one date away. I was not close to my dad and didn’t know how to fix it. I think I was scaring my mom a little bit. I know she was praying for me a lot.

Then my ears perked up again, suddenly a woman appeared on the scene. She was really sick. She believe if she touched the hem of Jesus garment she would be healed. Now I was really listening! Then the still small voice within me started to speak. Now this is an expression from the bible Christians use instead of sounding crazy and saying God started talking to me. But in fact, deep in my heart, God started talking to me. I kept hearing the words, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” I knew who He meant, Jesus wasn’t there in the flesh, he meant our beloved minister. He wanted me to touch his robe and be healed.

I was fighting this one hard. No way do we have altar calls in the Congregational Church and certainly not in the suburbs! Yet, I couldn’t shake the unmistakable, over-powering tug on my heart and soul. Healed from what? I was thinking all the while: acne, broken heart about my dad, rebellion, lousy attitude. You name it, I needed healing mind, soul and body badly. But really, walk up the aisle of the church and touch the minister’s robe?

I was getting really warm inside. Every time the dear minister said “If I only touch His cloak I will be healed” and “Your faith has healed you” — which seemed to be a refrain in his sermon — it was like someone putting a light charge of electricity through me.

Finally I got up. I walked up the very long aisle to the front of the church and touched our minister’s robe just as he was reading the words, “Take heart daughter, your faith has healed you.” And then he smiled at me and looked and the congregation. He said, our little one here has come seeking healing…he looked at me and I nodded. That was all I could do. Then he turned to the congregation and said something like…if any more of you would like prayer please come up and join us here. And people came forward! And he prayed for all of us. Many hearts were touched. It was the very first alter call ever in that church, but certainly not the last.

Did I get healed? In every way. It was the beginning of a work of restoration of faith in my Lord. I know my desire to be closer to Him and to my Dad was in the works. What about my skin? That wasn’t instant, but there was a healing that took place. The dermatologist had spoken with me about treatments to fix scarring and pitting down the line. Due to the healing started that day, none of that was ever necessary. It was like I was given brand new skin!

I do have an interested post script to this story. Years later, I was working in the marketing department of a Life Insurance company in downtown Minneapolis. I was on a company weekend at their home office in Wisconsin and was up late one night talking to one of the women executives. She and I had really hit it off and she knew I was a person of faith. She said she was once a Congregationalist, but she got really turned off to church one Sunday. I asked her what happened. She said a young girl got up at the end of the sermon and walked up and touched the minister’s robe. It turned her off completely.

I was able to tell her that that young person was me and I gave the story to her from my perspective a bit. It was so amazing. That wonderful woman opened her heart back up to God that night. She thought that if He would go to all the trouble of finding that girl and put her back in her path all these years later, He must care about her a lot. And of course, I agreed!

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14 thoughts on “Hem of His Garment

  1. Thomas Wall on said:

    Faith- knowing and believing and walking in His word. so many think, Well, He could if he wants to. He said if a child asks a father for bread, will he give him a stone ? He is our Heavenly Father, how much more will he give us ? A little doubt is like the thorn in the Lions paw. he couldn’t do anything until someone came along and removed it. You always seem to come up with inspiring scripture, like sweet water from an artesian well, so refreshing !

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    • Well Tom, that scripture really found me that day and I’ve never forgotten it. I love the scriptures where people act on their faith and stories where people do it in their lives too I guess. Thank you for your wonderful comment which reminds us the all important nature of God, He always answers us with just what we need. Thanks Tom!

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  2. Lovely Libby, another anointed glimpse into your amazing God led life!!! I am waiting for your next installment with baited breath!!! I Love you more but Jesus loves you most!

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  3. How can one help but love wholeheartedly a friend who always prefaces their name with the word Lovely! Mare you are a most dear and sweet doll of a friend and an encourager in the faith. You are my sister and I love I will say as much to keep the peace. You are so right, Jesus does love us most!

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  4. That’s a very incredible story!
    I liked it. 🙂 God bless you! UT

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  5. I have holy goosebumps Libby. Your active faith is palpable. I know what that warm feeling is like. Scares the snot out of me because I always know it’s a call of action from our Creator. He wants us to move in some way. I’m so thankful you stepped out in faith and walked forward for healing. I’m not sure I would’ve heeded the Spirit’s still small voice. That postscript is SO like God. He’s so amazing, beyond what we can imagine.

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    • Libby Baker Sweiger on said:

      Awww Mimi. I think you would have. It was so compelling. It was becoming harder to sit in the pew than to get up and obey. The pastor told me later, when I explained I had been hearing the call during his sermon, that I came up at the perfect time. Any sooner and it would have really thrown him in the middle of his sermon, any later and the service would have ended. God’s perfect timing is amazing and his plans for each one of us, like you say beyond our imagination!

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  6. As always Libby…great job at “Spreading The Light”

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  7. Thanks for another wonderful story, Libby. Hold fast to your faith in God. He gives life, health and faith, and restores each as we are in need, according to His good and gracious will.

    Not only did God create life, he assumed ours. Two millennia ago, God walked among us, in the person of Jesus Christ. He knew sorrow and pain. He also knew great joy and the comfort of a simple, warm embrace. This is an almighty God who humbled Himself for those He created and for those who have yet to be born.

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  8. I will hold fast, Mark. Thanks for the encouragement. He is my Lord and my dearest friend whom I will obey. As this story shows, and its how I feel: no matter what He asks of me. I appreciate your comments so much Mark, they always add something more to what has been written here. Thank you!

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  9. Wonderful witness, dear Libby! Truly you spread God’s Word far and wide with your weaving of words of witness. Thank you for using your media gifts to lift others up in His name, and take heart in the solace of His garment, which enfolds you, hem and all, in His love. Pursue the healing to be given, by laying on of hands, by joining of hearts to God in His Will, and see if this is a path for you. Blessings on your beautiful journey.

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  10. Thanks Jim for your loving and inspiring comments. The healing I sought that day at age 15 was given and I treasure it. It was such a blessing from God when it came and has stayed with me all of my life. Blessings to you on your journey which inspires so many!

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