Day: March 20, 2022

Lent 17 ~ A Better Sunday

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10 He was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
11 And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
12 When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
13 He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
15 The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering?
16 This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?
17 When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.   ~  Luke 13: 10 – 17, Cure of a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath

          For some time now, I’ve been trying to make my Sunday one of deep thankfulness, even as I cook and do home chores, to sink myself into gratitude for all God has given me. This Sunday was no different. After such an eventful week, I looked forward to a quiet Sunday at home with blue skies lit by the sun and the breezes in joyful mirth.

          Instead, I had to go in to work for a short while. I took it in stride, figuring that I would be in and out in no time. Then, came a call and the person at the other end stuck a knife into me. And that was the end of Thankful Sunday.

          As far as hurts go, honestly, this was a very small one, but for some reason, the pain grew and grew into a tree. I said all the prayers which worked so wonderfully for me before and called upon St. Joseph too – but none of the previous miracles came to life again. I was puzzled but did not leave heaven’s door either. I had to know why this was happening.

          Heaven did answer my questions – by bringing me news of another woman’s workplace suffering. I did not know this lady personally but as she told me about how she was abused by those whom she cared and looked out for, her suffering hurt me so much. So much of it mirrored my own experiences here, yet hers had reached pits far deeper than mine.

          Desperate to do something for her that would alleviate this terrible sadness, I told her I would keep all her tears in my heart and take them to God. I didn’t know if that helped her but she continued to personally tell me of the many things she had to endure at work. As she spoke, I saw that apart from the similarity in pain, the bridge between us was that we both sought God through our different faiths, she a Muslim, I a Christian.

          All through this, my own hurt stubbornly remained before me. Even as I saw how much more this woman suffered compared to the nick I received today, it did not reduce my pain – and I could not understand why.

          It also did not make sense to me why God would allow this when I had sought to give Him nothing but thanksgiving this Sunday.

          Some hours later, I saw that my newfound suffering friend had become cheery, now sharing bits and pieces of sunshine where there had only been pain before. I also realised that while the memory of my own hurt remained, the sting had gone. Curious, I reflected upon this development.

          Then, in my mind suddenly formed this story from the Bible, about how Jesus had cured a woman on the Sabbath,

This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?

          That was when it all came together. God had allowed a hurt to pierce me this Sunday morn so that I would reach out and offer some comfort to another wounded soul. A necessary wounding to help someone else rise from sorrow and go on to hope.

          As I pondered this, Someone’s words swept across my heart,

A better Sunday

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