For some reason, the song “Like The Woman” (based upon Mark 5: 25-34) has been going through my head a lot lately. It has to be one of the greatest Christian worship songs written in the last twenty years, but I wonder how many people know it. If the results of a Google search are any indication, not many people do. Not many at all.
Here is a clip of the song as performed by its creator, Stacey Swalley. Oddly, I don’t think Swalley does his own song justice, though his version is still quite anointed.
These are the lyrics:
Like the Woman
Like the woman
With the issue of blood
We press in, we press in
Like the blind man
We press in
Through the crowd
A touch from heaven
Jesus came and rescued me
A touch from heaven
Jesus came and set me free
(©1995 Swalley Music)
Before doing research for this post, I had only heard the song in Japanese. The song appears to have gotten greater traction with a small subset of Japanese Christians than elsewhere. Mind you, the song is not that popular or even known in all Japanese churches. However, a small group of Japanese churches have incorporated it into their regular worship.
My wife thinks the song has failed to become popular in the West because the wording “issue of blood” (from the King James Bible) immediately turns people off. In Japanese, this is not a problem. However, this does not explain why the song is so popular with some Japanese Christians.
My own thought is that the Japanese church has by and large had a habit of beating off people like the woman with the issue of blood. They don’t want people to press in and get healed or find salvation, unless it is under their control and supervision, and under their rules–rules that God never gave them, and which tend to shut people out rather than welcome them in. Yet, there is still such a hunger and a desperation in the hearts of many Japanese people. They see themselves as this woman. They have had to fight through the crowd and those who want to manage the anointing, and have had to grab hold of Jesus. He, and he alone, was able to fulfill their need. Not the pastors. Not the church. Thus, the song resonates with them. Jesus brought them healing and salvation, when no one else would.
These are the lyrics in Japanese:
ちから いま 流れ
Here they are in romaji, in case you cannot read the hiragana:
Koromo no saso ni demo, furesase-tamae
Naga-chi-no-onna no you ni, hitasura motomeru
Shu-no-mite ga ima watashi ni
Chikara ima nagare
Shu Iesu-no-mite ni fure
Jiyuu ni sareta
The Japanese lyrics track fairly well with the English, but give more of a sense of the desperation the singer feels: Only a touch from Jesus’ hand will do.