Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Our bodies are a marvel: the interconnections between sight, touch, sound, and brain are wonderful. The nerves to the feet are the longest in the body, and when they function poorly or not at all, walking becomes difficult with alterations in muscles and proprioception and alignment. Folks suffering with a lack of balance sense have a hard time negotiating uneven surfaces without visual clues as to the placement of their feet. In general, they will look down while slowly walking, so the brain knows where the feet are being placed. If you’ve ever spent time in a dark, unfamiliar room, you will mimic this walking by slowing your gait, looking downward, and trying to feel your way.
At times, my walks in faith are similar to the gait patterns exhibited by those with lower extremity sensory neuropathy: I look down, slow down, toddle, trying to see, generally unaware of my immediate surroundings. My focus sharpens to the immediate, never looking ahead, never looking to my sides, and my attitude, physically and mentally, is down cast. I stay linked to the ground, never viewing what lies ahead as necessary or important. In some respects, I am anchored and chained to where I am, moving, but not progressing, slowly, methodically leaving out little if any slack in those hurts, pains, slights, and past difficulties which keep me focused downward. Pessimism and an inability or unwillingness to foresee better paths surrounds me and weighs me down.
When Christ healed the crippled woman in Luke , she stood and raised her arms in praise, no longer down cast and out cast, but upright, alive, optimistic, and joyful. And the community joined in! When I am bent down by my own attitudes towards others, I am not praising, not optimistic, and certainly not acting with Christian love. My anxieties and remembrances of past journeys weigh me down, and my daily motions and thoughts become tedious, unfulfilling, unbalanced, and difficult. I know how to restore the balance and stand, arms uplifted.
I know how to walk upright, with my hands reaching outward towards others on the journey. And I know that my praise and my joy are a welcoming to others.
Image Copyright: axelbueckert / 123RF Stock Photo