Jesus sees a woman bent over; he says to her, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment." Then he lays his hands on her, she stands up straight, and immediately begins praising God.
This story has me thinking about healing in general. Somehow, when we are hurting, the experience of being alone, going unnoticed, and remaining unseen, makes matters worse. However, when we feel important, like we matter, things shift. Even if our situation or our circumstances remain awful, somehow we find hope and new strength when we realize we are known; when we are seen.
The story of the women "bent over and quite unable to stand" occupies my attention for another reason. When Jesus says, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment," that word "ailment" can mean many things. In the New Testament in the original Greek, that word is used in various places to describe illness, weakness, helplessness, lack of energy, sickliness, affliction, distress, oppression, calamity, inefficiency, dubiousness, and hesitancy.
Because this word has so many uses, we can hear Jesus saying to the woman quite unable to stand, "Woman, you are set free from whatever it is you are carrying that is too heavy for you."
Thank God, because Jesus does the same for you and me.
Jesus sees you. He sees what you are carrying and your bent-over-quite-unable-to-stand-ness. He pronounces, "You too, are set free from your ailment."
Jesus sees you.