Bent and Broken
And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. Luke 13:11
“You should try acupuncture. It worked wonders for my friend.”
“I can recommend a good chiropractor.”
“I bet a massage would help. Have you tried that yet?”
“I have some natural remedies that I am pretty sure will help.”
“Have you tried stretching? What about Yoga?”
“Oh man, that exact same thing happened to me and I had to have surgery.”
The advice came at me fast and furiously after I finally broke down and told a few people that I couldn’t move my left arm behind my back past my left hip or raise it above 90 degrees in front of me. I couldn’t reach out of the car window, turn the steering wheel in one fluid motion, or put anything on a shelf in the kitchen using my left arm. But, all of that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst part was the non-stop excruciating pain that kept me awake at night and nagged at me all day long. After silently enduring the discomfort for several months, I was desperate for a solution.
In Luke 13 we meet a woman who is desperately looking for healing from a burden she has been carrying for 18 years. A burden so great, she can’t stand up straight (Luke 13:11). I am sure during those 18 years she heard ever piece of advice on how she could be healed, but none of them worked. I can imagine her dragging her bent and broken body from one place to another hoping that this time the cure would work. Ultimately, it is the touch of Jesus that takes her burden away and brings her healing.
I love that Jesus stops in the middle of his teaching in the synagogue and sees the woman. He notices her. He calls her over. He tells her she is free. He touches her and heals her. Completely. Totally. Fully. Freely. This act reassures me of the fact that no matter how invisible I feel in my pain or illness, God sees me. He cares. He desires to heal me completely. He wants to make me whole. He wants to straighten the bent places in my life. This doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t seek the earthly help that I need when I am sick. I may need a physician, surgeon, or psychiatrist to treat my earthly ailments, but ultimately my broken and bent places can only be fixed by Jesus.
So where do you go when you are stooped over under the weight of a heavy burden? Do you turn to your friends for answers? Counselors? Doctors? Life coaches? Medication? Isolation? Where do you go when you need a healing touch? Please, seek the help you need, but ultimately bring your broken and bent places to the one who can straighten them with his touch.
As for me, I finally went to the orthopedic doctor. I didn’t have to have surgery, but I did spend five months in physical therapy. Two years later, I am pretty close to having 100% mobility and strength in my left arm with just a few twinges of minor discomfort, but believe me, I am keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t ever “freeze” again.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.