The Gospel story (Luke 13:10-17) tells of a woman who had been unable to stand up straight for 18 years. Jesus has compassion on her and heals her affliction. He heals her on the Sabbath against the man-made rules. He is bringing about change and setting priorities straight.
Being able to stand upright is one of the conditions of being human. It allows us to speak, to use our hands, to receive our thinking from above. It also gives us a certain distance from the earth, which has had both good and bad repercussions.
So, we have been “set free” and set on our feet. What do we do with this freedom? Do we have the courage to “take a stand” when we see that something immoral or terribly wrong is happening? Do we have the courage to go against “man-made” rules when they are unjust or irrelevant?
There are so many issues that arise today for which we need to “take a stand.” We are being called upon every single day to bear witness to the truth, to take a stand for someone or something we believe in and to put our faith into action.
In his book, 12 Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson says: “Standing up straight with your shoulders back is not something that is only physical, because you’re not only a body. You’re a spirit. Standing up physically implies and invokes and demands standing up metaphysically. Standing up means voluntarily accepting the burden of Being. Your nervous system responds in an entirely different manner when you face the demands of life voluntarily…
It means willingly undertaking the sacrifice necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality. (It means acting to please God in ancient language.)”
We can act to please God, to ease someone else’s burden, to help someone who is not able to stand up for himself or herself, by standing, bearing witness, bringing about transformations, large and small. The power lies in our own free will.
By Carol Kelly