Today’s Gospel is brief but reveals that journeying with Jesus were a group of women who had been healed by him. My mind is on some of my women friends tonight. It has flitted prayerfully from one to another throughout the course of the day because one was having surgery, another was seeing a specialist to see about her condition and a third is in hospital for the weekend. I also have just hung up the phone from another friend who called me to chat. I have had her on my mind for a few nights as her sister had passed away this summer and I had gone down to the funeral with a couple friends. I had hoped to call her earlier in the week but had not so was blessed that we were clearly thinking about one another. Women in need of healing gather with other women folk in our hearts when we cannot meet face to face.
These women in Luke 8 are said to accompany Jesus and to have provided for him out of their resources. I wonder on a night like tonight if that necessarily meant financial, or if it meant emotionally and spiritually. I am sure these women prayed with and for Jesus. I depend on my friends, particularly my female counterparts, but not exclusively, to pray for me and to help me sort through all the emotional pitfalls of life lately.
Earlier today I listened to the rest of the Wisdom of Story lesson that Glennon Doyle Melton is facilitating with Brene Brown. I watched these two women share very intimate moments with each other and once again realize how remarkably blessed I am to have the amazing support networks that I have. Healing happens when we tell our stories. During the course, this quote from Maya Angelou was used: There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. I imagine Magdalene telling her story to the other women about what her life had been like before Jesus cast out the seven demons that tormented her and how it had changed since that point.
I have said it before but the conversations I have with many people, but in particular, my women folk, heal me. We go to wonderful depths of intimacy–both joyful and sorrow-filled. At the hospital today, I listened as my friend dug deep and shared what has been going on and I matched her with my own story. Tonight on the phone, there was much laughter, unlike the tears shared the last two times I saw my friend. With each of the people I spoke to today, I have had long friendships–some over three decades. Each friendship has a different structure to it but each one is dear to me. I am glad that I do not have to bear an untold story because I have listeners who will take the cross for awhile, who will cheer me on, and who will love me despite my faults. I took a time out today to pray for them–all of whom have been praying for me.
We all have our demons–we all struggle to overcome the fears and doubts that arise when the sands seem to shift. We call out to Jesus and often for me, Jesus arrives in human form via a woman who can provide His healing touch. We who accompany Jesus, also accompany one another and bear the story that needs to be told until the teller is strong again. Such a gift!
Are you needing to share an untold story to be free of it?
Who are the women who accompany you with Jesus?
Jesus, you knew women. You loved us–you still love us. You take all our demons, all our untold stories, our shame, and our pain and transform it to light, truth and peace. I thank you for the gift of your accompaniment and for the healers you have given me. Amen.