Abe’s Daughter


10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And just then 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. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. 14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. Luke 13: 10-17

A strange word was spoken on the Sabbath,
but Abe’s daughter couldn’t see who said it,
or who touched her,
until she straightened her back and saw him.
She lifted her gaze from the earth
and beheld the dizzy smiles in the faces of others
for the first time.
A word of mercy internalized,
a demon cast out,
a burden loosened,
like the unraveling of grave bandages.
She could see the world around her now,
and she lifted her face to the sky that night,
and gazed at all the miraculous things that came into being,
which were only stars.
But stars seen for the first time are glorious,
and a face full of dignity, mercy and love is more glorious still.


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