a man approached the pulpit so the preacher stepped down to approach him
he asked the congregation to lift up their hands as he prayed over him to ask for healing
i’d seen him a year before and though he looked the same, this time was different as he had crutches
later i asked someone who knew him and had seen him weekly over that year what happened to him
she didn’t know so i asked why she didn’t ask
—— it’s personal and i don’t want to get in his business, she answered
i paused in understanding – then spoke
he stood up and used those crutches to walk to the front of the church and ask for healing. you lifted your hands as the preacher asked. how can that kind of love not be personal? i asked further
she paused – then spoke
i guess you’re right, she answered
i don’t know how long it takes a stranger not to be one, but considered that everyone either is or isn’t. i didn’t care to be right nor did i believe healing came through external inquiry so later wondered where the question came from in the first place. agape sees crutches for what they are – those visible and invisible. a child would have no trouble asking, “what happened?” bringing to surface curiosity and compassion in one fell swoop. true care is infallible. there’s no pretense, thought or artistic flair to the purity of love. that hard stop, the one that leads some to lift their hands but not their voices is a barrier to the peace of mankind. it’s natural to ask and unnatural to pretend compassion exists in nice neat boxes that can only be opened in ceremony.
through you my fears were made visible. thank you for allowing me space to reflect upon the memory of your touch and be humbled by the deflection of mine.