Day 29


Who knew that gravity was not the only force that could pull us to the ground? Who knew that such small things as words had such weight? Just an audible exhale. A simple strings of letters. Words weighing nothing, as light as breath can drag a soul down, pinning the human spirit to the mat.

We know this because we’ve lived the truth of it in our hearts. The truth that words are anything but weightless. They build. They tear. They lift. They crush. We know the feeling. The feeling of the weight of words on our shoulders. Pressing. Pushing. These welting words of others can become the caves we dwell in. Our broken hearts rebuilt. Into prisons. Into caves.


And the Satan, the accuser, he dwells by our dark places and whispers from the shadows that despair is all there is. He may not possess us, but he can oppress us, using the pain of a thousand human words to draw our gaze from God, away from the light and further down into the cave of all our pain. 

This hiss on the wind delights to use our frailties against us, blinding us to the light and binding us to the belief that we are unloved. It’s so easy to agree with the lies that devalue our souls and make ourselves at home in them. Not a happy home, but a familiar one. A home that silences any hope for more, any hope that life could be any different. It can be a crippling and a caging, this weighing down of hope.

“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.” Luke 13:10-11

This crippling and this caging of a soul, it’s all enough to tear a child of God to pieces, to rebuild them in a broken form, a bent form, a malformed version of the grace that once was them. Eighteen long turns around the sun is long enough to believe the lies that bind. To live there. Unquestioningly. Crippled not by bones and flesh, but by a spirit.

“She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.” Luke 13:10-11

We were not created to dwell in caves. We have been created by light, for light. The light that shines in the darkness and is not overcome by it (John 1: 5). This light, it makes all things visible, even the things nobody else is noticing, nobody else is seeing, like the broken heart of a broken soul. A crippled spirit chained in the dark.

Sometimes our brokenness is easy to see, like a broken leg, or an open wound, but broken hearts are less visible to the eye, unless of course that eye is God’s.

‘When Jesus saw her, he called her forward’ Luke 13:12

‘When Jesus saw her…’ . He saw her. She who few people noticed. Her invisibility, her insignificance in that time and culture were multiplied because she was both a woman and a cripple. No use to anyone.

Our beliefs form worlds around us and we dwell in our caves without question. This lady, she was in the synagogue, the same place where Jesus was and yet she had not come to Him for healing. She had grown accustomed to her cave. Her lack of wholeness felt like home. Her culture and community silently communicated to her that she would not even be noticed by this Rabbi. And her broken spirit beliefs about herself so bent her to the ground that all she saw was dirt, the dust of her own worthlessness, the mud of silent allegiance to the lie that had built her cave around her.  

In her darkness she did not see Him.

But He saw her. 

‘When Jesus saw her, he called her forward’ Luke 13:12

He saw her in the crowded throng of human ambivalence. He saw her in the echoing darkness of her cave. He saw her and He called her to Him. Forwards. Because moving towards Him is the only move forwards.

He sees her because He is a God who sees. He has always been this way, this man, this God. He has always seen the wood for the trees, the lost child in the crowd, the wondering wandering, the silent soul struggling. Every one of us.

He is a God who sees. Just as Hagar had realised a millennia before when she was running away on a road going nowhere, ‘You are the God who sees me,’ she had discovered  ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’ (Genesis 16:13). God saw Hagar lost in her desert just as Jesus sees this woman now, lost in the crowd, just as He sees us, where-ever we are at right now.

He sees her this day and He beckons her near. And every step taken in the direction of God always brings us a step closer to wholeness and hope, a step deeper into life and peace, a step nearer to true freedom. 

“When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity. Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Luke 13:12-13