For the past almost-two weeks now, I have not been able to walk. I should clarify. I can walk. I am blessed to still walk around on my own two feet, but I cannot do so easily. I hobble and limp and each step comes with a wince of pain. I cannot move faster than about two miles per hour, and I use walls and tables to support my weight as I get up and sit down and turn directions. Apparently, I am in a small percentage of women whose hips over-relax for labor and it basically feels like my leg is falling out of my left hip socket at all times.
For the most part, I've handled it pretty well, I suppose. I am slow. It's frustrating and discouraging. I feel like I still have a lot to get done before the baby arrives, and I'm physically incapable of doing most of the tasks on my list. I try to ignore the pain. But every once in a while it makes me want to cry because it's just so constant. Tylenol relieves it a little bit, but it's always there.
But instead of dwelling on the physical pain and limitations, I've been asking God to open up my spiritual eyes to what He has to teach me through this trial. And I think of the lame, the crippled, the sick, sitting on the sides of dusty roads reaching out for Jesus as He walked by. Desperate for anything He could offer. Relief from pain. The ability to take one step. Rescue from a life spent in humiliation and helplessness.
And Jesus, the Great Healer, offered so many of them the physical healing they desperately longed for. He saved them from a life spent lying in the dirt. But more than that, He offered them spiritual healing. Not only could He say "rise and walk" but He could offer them the greater gift... "Your sins are forgiven" (Luke 5:20).
One of my favorite scenes at church every week is watching the congregation move toward the front for communion. On the one hand, it's just a bunch of men, women, and children dressed up and walking slowly down the aisle to receive their tiny portion of bread and juice. But on the other hand, it's so much more. These men, women, and children are weary sinners. They are saints acknowledging their Savior. As one week, with its temptations and trials ends, and a new week is about to begin, these sheep march forward, hands opened up to receive not just the bread and wine, but the gift from Savior... "Your sins are forgiven" (Mark 2:5).
Last week at church, I hobbled to the front for my taste of the body and blood. In front of hundreds, I was the big old pregnant woman at the end of the line limping her way toward the gift at the front. While the moment was slightly embarrassing, it was also the sweetest reminder that I've already been healed from my true ailment. My ability to walk might be hindered for a while longer, but my true needs have already been met. My sins are forgiven and for that I rejoice.
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the man who was paralyzed--"I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home."