Seeing the relationship that my children have with their grandparents makes me a bit jealous. I really never had the relationship with my grandparents that they are able to have today with our parents. My grandfathers had already died by the time I would have been old enough to remember them and my paternal grandmother was bed-ridden for as much as I can remember. My maternal grandmother had remarried long ago and while he was around I remember them being fairly healthy but I never built a strong relationship with them. My grandmother was hearing impaired and as she got older her sight started to go as well.
How I wish that I could have brought healing to my grandparents as Jesus did to the woman in our gospel story this morning. It is in Jesus’ healing that the woman’s point of view is changed, literally and figuratively. That is the amazing thing about Jesus! He is able to change our point of view through his words and actions. The woman finds herself for eighteen long years stooped over with a line of vision that is not able to look clearly all around her. Think about it. She probably spent most of her day looking more towards the ground then she did looking up to speak to those that approached her. Not to mention, because of her ailment, she would have been seen as unclean and would have been avoided if not pushed to the boundaries of the city. Her point of view is instantly changed, in just the simple words of Jesus and laying on of his hands, “Woman, you are set free of your ailment.” She is able to stand tall and experience things like she had never experienced them before. Let’s think beyond the physical though and think of that new relationship that she has now experienced in Jesus. She will never be the same as Jesus has come into her life and healed her.
Many of you as well as members and loved ones that cannot be with us to worship also pray for that same type of healing that Jesus brings to the woman in our gospel story. We are human and we fall into disrepair at times when our bodies cannot heal themselves. This is just part of being human on this side of the resurrection. Jesus’ healing can come to us in many different ways. It can be the physical healing that we hear of in today’s gospel story. It could be the healing that comes to us through the help of medical professionals, such as this woman that hears for the first time.
Jesus speaks of her being bound by Satan for those eighteen long years. Was this a physical binding, or is Jesus simply referring to the evil that takes places in our world. The evil that comes to us in the deterioration of our health, both physical and mental. The evil that comes to us when we are least expecting it and tries to prevent us from doing those things that we truly love to do. How do we come to terms with this evil that pervades our lives and tends to bring dark clouds our way?
Through our experiences in life, we know that physical healing does not always occur, even though we may pray feverishly for it. Perhaps, there is a healing that is beyond our grasp. A healing that enters into our very being that opens us up to God that is within us. Jesus brings healing to us in our times of need. An openness to that healing and welcoming it in to our very being is what God is hoping for. That healing can change our point of view when we allow ourselves to be truly vulnerable and open to the possibility.
Often times, it is in the vulnerability that we encounter a roadblock. We are taught that we should put up a strong front and only share those things that will help and not hinder our progress in any way. That vulnerability is personal, and it can also be communal as a group looks to any change and the way in which it is approached. A different point of view can be eye opening and can reform the church. Just look back nearly 500 years ago when Martin Luther set into motion the Reformation and what would eventually become the foundation of our denomination.Through Jesus there was healing that occurred at that time as people truly experienced God for the first time in a personal way.
We cannot be healed on our own. It requires us to be vulnerable and open to the help of others and the power of the Holy Spirit. In that healing we experience a new point of view. A point of view that can bring us back to the foot of the cross with thanksgiving for Jesus entering into our lives with a promise of life-everlasting through his death and resurrection.