Touch His Hem

  • March 12, 2015
  • #8574

Reach out for a fresh touch from Jesus during times of pain and illness, His love never disappoints.

Touch His Hem

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a little art lesson today.

Because I’m an artist, I always enjoy looking at the paintings of other artists. I can learn a lot from their technique and use of color. It’s why I enjoy the paintings of Ron DiCianni – he has a fascinating technique with his brushes and I love the way he deals with light in his paintings. Ron is a pretty well-known Christian artist and has illustrated books by Max Lucado. He’s even illustrated several of my children’s books. I know, I just know you would recognize his artwork if you saw it. Actually, you can see it by going to my radio page at when you have a minute.

Okay, so I’m telling you all this because once when I was visiting his art studio, Ron DiCianni invited me to take my pick of one of his framed prints. I couldn’t believe this; I was so excited. I took Ron up on his offer and began slowly wheeling past his paintings which were displayed on various easels. Suddenly I stopped in front of one. It was the scene from Luke chapter 8 where the woman who was hemorrhaging reached out and touched the edge of the Lord’s cloak and she was healed. In the painting, Ron portrayed her on her hands and knees, with one arm stretched out as she was desperately trying to reach the hem of Jesus’ garment. 

For a long moment I stared, breathless, at the painting and then, out of nowhere, hot tears filled my eyes and I began sobbing. I had been struggling with pain all that week, and this painting – all the emotion I saw in this woman’s eyes, the way her hand appeared to be trembling – all of it described me to a T. Sitting there sobbing, I was oblivious to Ron and his family and the other guests. For several minutes, bless their hearts, they just let me cry. Never had I intended to bare my soul like that about the physical pain I had been in that week, the whole incident took me, and everybody else, by surprise.

But after I stopped crying, I knew one thing: this was the framed print I wanted to take home. And today it is hanging in the room right next to my office at Joni and Friends. And whenever I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by my wheelchair and the discomfort it brings, I go take a look at that painting.

Now, maybe today I’ve touched a raw nerve. Perhaps you have been close to emotionally collapsing because of migraine headaches this week, or back pain, or a surgery that just hasn’t healed right. Perhaps you’ve just been given a poor medical report and you’re facing cancer or macular degeneration or ALS. And you are scared. If you are struggling like that today, pull out your Bible and read that beautiful story in Luke chapter 8. Picture yourself – imagine yourself – as that woman in the crowd; a crowd of people, all jostling and jockeying to get closer to God. But somehow, someway, God turns around and finds you in the throng; He finds you hurting and yet hoping to find help from Jesus. And guess what, He will not disappoint you. Romans chapter 5 says that the love of God never disappoints us. And now, with that wonderful promise in mind, reach out in heartfelt prayer to seek a fresh touch from the Lord. And He will answer – just as He answered me that day at Ron’s art studio. Because as much pain as I was in, He answered my deepest heartfelt longing. He answered me with something far more precious than 'relief from my pain', He answered me with renewed hope, a brighter joy and profound peace. These are the gifts you find when you’ve touch the hem of Christ’s garment. So, don’t forget to drop by my radio page today at to see this remarkable painting.

© Joni and Friends


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