Every time I hear this story I think of Peggy. She reenacted this passage for our church one Sunday. I recall her slowly walking into the sanctuary, bent forward as she told us about her encounter with Jesus. Then, with a smile, she straightened to her full height as she praised God for all God had done for her. That was a powerful moment of worship for me. Certainly, this encounter with Jesus is a physical healing, but it is much more than that. Luke tells us that this woman has been bent by a spirit (v. 11) for eighteen years. What would that have been like, to be bent in one’s spirit?
Life has a way of bending a lot of us. We may walk tall on the outside, but inside we are hurting, bent, maybe bitter or sad. Sometimes we express this in our body language with our slumped shoulders, slow gait, or the worried look on our faces. So many things seem capable of bending us, like betrayal, injustice, and broken relationships.
The good news is that Jesus wants to mend the bent places in our lives. He works to “unbreak our hearts,” as the Toni Braxton song goes. He leads us to more wholesome lives and invites us to experience great joy. He inspires us to stand tall against the wrongs that threaten the well-being of many. With God’s help, restored hearts can make a difference.
What needs to be restored in you today? Ask God to mend what is broken and to offer healing and help.
This story results in praise. May that be your story too.
What part of your spirit feels “bent over”? How will you express your need to God and invite God to help you mend?
God, touch the bent places in my life so that I might praise you again for the mending work of your grace and love. Amen.