There appeared a woman with a spirit
that had crippled her for eighteen years.
She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight.
When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said,
“Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”
You are not bad. You are just bent.
You don’t need to be judged or punished.
You need to be healed. To be set free.
Because you are bent
you will miss the mark.
What feels straight to you will be crooked.
Your self image is distorted.
But that doesn’t mean you’re evil. Just bent.
You didn’t bend yourself.
The power that distorts you is not your own.
Nor is the power that heals you.
What you have to do is open yourself
to the grace that lets you re-align,
the love that raises you up,
not once, but every breath.
Fear will bend you down.
Love will raise you up.
Keep choosing love.
The gentle hand is on your back even now.