“He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.”
When I was finally allowed to remove the surgical dressing, it was in front of our bathroom mirror. My husband’s shoulder was ready for me to cry on and I’ll admit I needed it for a moment. The body parts that made me feel feminine didn’t look nearly like I wanted them to, and standing next to me was the person I wanted to feel most feminine for. Despite how I anticipated any husband to act, Aaron smiled and held me.
When the alarm went off at 3:30 a few mornings before, my first thoughts were what that day’s surgery would bring. Will the nurses be accommodating? Do we have the correct address to the surgery center? Will I recover quickly? Silly and minor worries that subconsciously reinforced the anxiety inherent to major medical procedures. My last questions felt more than silly, though.
Will mommy come home to her babies? And, will my husband still desire me?
I pushed those temptations of worry aside and opened up to where I had been reading in Luke. I like the days when there are red and black words in my quiet time. The story of Jesus being questioned about His intentions to heal the withered hand of a man began in chapter six. Despite the army of Pharisaical critics, Jesus told the man who longed for healing simply, “Stand up”.
At times Jesus said “go and tell no one,” but not here. Here, He said “stand up”. Almost like, “just let the others see what I will do”. Jesus didn’t neglect an opportunity to show grace even in the face of his accusers questioning why He would heal on a holy day. His decision to ignore piety and heal this man imprinted on history His willingness to extend the deepest form of love and mercy no matter the cost. And in an most violent collision of timing, this one decision set into motion the plotting of His crucifixion. The hatred sown into the hearts of those religious leaders that day would be what ushered in our very salvation. His one act of grace ushered in the ultimate plan of grace.
It’s so hard sometimes to truly fathom the extent of God’s rich love for us. So, in His perfect timing and infinite wisdom, He allows us to catch glimpses of it here on earth. This particular day it was through my husband. In a moment where his face could have shown disgust, he showed me the mercy and love of Christ at my weakest. My newly reconfigured body was my “withered hand”, and like Christ, my husband lavished compassion showing me a glimpse of God’s tender love.
Since God’s grace and compassion is so very central to our faith, to our healing, and to our well-being, I pray each of us catch glimpses of it. Today, may you intentionally look for it.
Jesus, thank you for your unending grace and compassion. And, thank you for showing us glimpses of your love even here in this broken world. Thank you for ushering in no matter the cost of your ultimate plan of grace, salvation. Amen.
You can read more from Amanda Florczykowski on her Fearless Narrative Blog at AmandaFlo.com