“Woman, you are free from your infirmity”, told Jesus to the woman with a double bent back for 18 years. “Immediately, she straightened up and praised God”, I read in today’s reading (which was yesterday, by the way).
That one word penetrated right into my heart. I was full of it. Weaknesses of all sorts always attacked me. I was always significantly shorter than the most, and I’m talking about the times I lived in Korea. So imagine how I feel about my height now in the United States of America. I was always made fun of my voice which resembles that of tiny little voice of a small child. When a telemarketer calls her immediate question to me is: Can I talk to your parents? My answer? They are not available. My interviewer just yesterday had this to comment about my voice in the beginning of our interview. “I bet the children just adore your voice!” I was interviewing for a position at a college. Now, don’t even get me started about my weaknesses when it comes to my mental condition.
I spent the whole day feeling inferior. I was getting tired of waiting for my job offers to come through. My interview ended on an uncertain note. I saw a big rainbow through the clouds on the drive back home after the interview, but even that did not help to ease my concerned mind. At this point, clinging to hope was not enough. Perhaps, I’ve abused the power of hope. It’s now time to act my part, and I am scared. I feel so inferior and I feel inadequate for the tasks. I feel so incapable.
That afternoon, I picked up my daughter from school and played outside. The weather was unusually warm and I wanted to spent time outdoors just like we did when we lived in our country home. We spent hours collecting the fall leaves, comparing their colors. We filled a whole bucket with the fallen leaves. My eyes got teary at one point because I was vividly reliving this particular fall day in our country homestead just last year. Oh how happy those days were. Such care-free, free-spirited days where we were out of reach of the real concerns of the world.
The sun was about to set. The intensity of the sun down was so magically beautiful. I had to turn around to face the last light of the sun. It was just about to disappear behind the thick leaves. I felt the light shining through the opening of the branches. The light was so strong, so powerful, so penetrating. And that’s when I heard it again.
Woman, you are free from your infirmity.
And I wanted to cling to every single word I heard.
I felt drops of tears falling down my face, silently.
Behind my back, my daughter was playing, ever so cheerfully.
And I did my best to hide my tears… just so that she can preserve her pure innocence.
I didn’t have that protection when I was growing up. But for my daughter, I will give my life to give her a stable, secure, pure, joyful childhood.
And that is my life’s goal now. A goal that will make me the strongest I’ve ever been.