Went through my devotion notes and found this piece I was inspired to write last year. I imagined a bright-eyed girl, much like myself, in the scenery. Amazing how the Holy Spirit can inspire from a simple three-versed summary from the book of Matthew.(ref: Chapter 15, Verses 29-31). Well, here it is. Enjoy!
“I was on my way to Galilee. Father had sent me to visit his sister, Aunt Anna. She was down with her bimonthly fever again. I was to take her hot soup and look after her. Then in the evening, I’d run back home two towns away. I looked up at the bright, clear sky and then kicked a stone the size of my thumb as I walked. I enjoyed these strolls with the sun streaming down my face. That was probably because I’d have to run in the dark evening.
“I hope Aunt Anna is feeling better,” I whispered. This was the third day I was visiting, and hopefully the last. This illness usually left her after three days – the same one that would keep her bed-ridden, barely able to speak and eat. She really didn’t deserve it; whatever “it” was anyway. No one really understood what it was. Aunt Anna was a good person; religious too. I remember the evenings she spent telling me tales of Queen Esther or how the Lord delivered the Israelites from the horrid Egyptians.
I snapped out of my reverie as I sighted a mass by the sea ahead. Squinting, I saw that it was a large crowd. Why so many people? Perhaps someone had died. The person must have been a really good person since he had so many friends.
But then I looked again and heard not dirges. In fact, it seemed the people were in joy. Curiosity got the best of me. A quick peek couldn’t hurt. Aunt Anna would be feeling better already. She’d be able to get out of bed at least by today.
“What’s happening here, sir?” I asked the first person I could get to. It was a lean, bearded old man.
“It’s the man, Jesus! He just speaks and the sick get healed instantly. He has healed so many in just the past hour,” he replied with enthusiasm and excitement.
“Jesus?” my mind wondered. “Who is Jesus?” my mouth spoke. But the man was engrossed in the ruckus. Jesus? Someone who could heal the sick instantly? That was great news. As I turned to leave, I remembered Aunt Anna. Could he heal her? At last, light at the end of the tunnel. For once, I felt hope for her. She would never have to experience the pain again. She could come and visit us as well.
But then, like water dashed upon my beaming face, despair filled my heart. Probably not. She had had this illness for as long as I could remember. It wasn’t just the flu.
“I can see! I CAN SEE!!” someone yelled from the front.
I spun around but I couldn’t see the person. The crowd was pushing up against one other. I wasn’t going to get into the middle of that; they’d probably crush me.
So I turned back to leave. I had wasted too much time already. I continued my journey and got to Aunt’s place. To my surprise, she was still on her bed. She was usually up by this time. I moved closer uncertainly. Was she…? Oh. I sighed; she was still breathing. I sat down and didn’t realize when tears started rolling down my cheeks as I watched her.
That name came to mind again. But he probably would not be able to heal her. He wouldn’t understand what he was dealing with here. This was something even the strongest herbs could not heal. I would know. We had tried everything we could think of!
Just try. Even if I yielded, how would I get her there? She was frail but she still couldn’t get up yet. And if she—
She coughed. I jumped up to my feet and got her some water. “Aunt Anna, do you feel better today?”
She simply nodded as she slowly took the water.
“I want to take you somewhere. I heard a man named Jesus can heal you,” I blurted out. I lied but I had to at least try.
To my surprise, she nodded. I had thought she would protest. She must have been desperate too. So I helped her get up, supported her and drew her along.
When we got to the sea, the mass had doubled. How was I going to get to this man, Jesus? Maybe I shouldn’t have even bothered. But then she coughed again and anger rose up in me. I was going to get to the front even if these people would squash me.
In we went.
“Please, she’s critically ill!” I yelled as I took her in. I could see someone ahead, laying hands on a crippled man and I was filled with excitement. That must be the Jesus. Aunt Anna was getting tired already however.
“Please, hold on,” I whispered to her and she nodded. I kept pushing through, keeping my eyes on the figure I figured was him.
I was almost there now but I still couldn’t get to the front where he was.
“Let us go back, my child, I need a bed to rest,” Aunt Anna whispered as she coughed.
I was determined to forge on but as I looked at her, she looked even frailer. I sighed and gave him one last look.
Suddenly, Aunt Anna fell to the dusty ground, pulling me with her. I screeched and even over the rowdiness, people turned to look at me. Then, I saw him move closer toward us. The crowd seemed to clear the way for him.
“What is wrong?” he asked when he got to me. His eyes spoke kindness like I had never seen before. There was so much peace and gentleness about him and I knew instantly that I could trust him.
“She’s ill,” was all I could muster.
“Not anymore,” he replied with conviction. He knelt by her, touched her forehead and her eyes fluttered open. “Get up! You are made whole today.” Then he stood.
I watched in shock and awe as Aunt Anna stood up and faced him. The color had returned to her face and even her eyes seemed brighter. Then she went back on her knees and held his hands. “Thank you, sir.”
My knees hit the ground as tears streamed down my face. I looked up at him again and words failed me. Then he gave me a smile and I could swear his smile was all-knowing. I looked at Aunt Anna as Jesus walked away to another.
“I feel better than I’ve ever felt since my youth,” she said to me amidst tears. The knowledge that the illness would never come back flooded my heart, and so did joy. I nodded as I wept with her. I guess I hadn’t lied after all. I looked for him in the crowd and sighted him not. But I knew this was one man I would never forget.
Jesus; that was his name. Jesus; that is his name.”