The Woman Who Could Only Look Down
“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Luke 13:10-13
Can you imagine being relatively young and vibrant and being so crippled and disabled with weakness, sickness, pain, and disease that your body is literally stuck in a downward position whereby you can’t lift yourself up or look upward – for years? I know of an extremely athletic man who was in such a horrific accident his body became literally stuck bent way over forward in a downward position, unmovable, as he lived for YEARS wracked in unfathomable, wretched, heinous pain unable to look straight ahead of him at the world around him let alone upward at the sky. Miraculously, one day he became free from his disability and dedicated his life thereafter to helping others manage indescribable physical pain. One day I saw a man walking through a parking lot with his head and body facing the ground. It was a wonder he didn’t bump into anybody or walk right smack into a moving car. I can’t imagine he could see in front of him let alone see the heavens above. I didn’t sense he was necessarily in physical pain or incapable physically of standing upright and walking forward able to see in front of him and up above like people ordinarily do when they walk, but that he was weighed down and “bowed together” by a debilitating load of emotional pain, hurt, brokenness, discouragement, depression, challenges, circumstances, and perhaps sin.
How many of us have been or are so weighed down and “bowed together” from the trials of life, broken in our hearts and lives, either by our own sin, or by the hands and hurts of others, by life’s challenges, or by some combination of all of this, that our hearts and lives and focus are bent and stuck despondently, dejectedly, anxiously, and miserably down?
When Jesus Christ healed a woman who had spent 18 years of her life so “bowed together” from her infirmity she couldn’t lift herself up, she immediately used her newfound ability to lift herself up not to focus her attention on the world around her but to look upward and praise, worship, honor, thank, and celebrate God in heaven! I can imagine her arms reaching high up in the air in worship and adoration of God, her heart and body now free, looking to the sky to the Lord to bring Him glory! She could have run off into the world with her new freedom to enjoy this life’s pleasures, but instead made her first and highest priority to revere and magnify the Lord who had set her free.
Which way are you facing?