In the Gospel Jesus and his followers had arrived in a town on a Friday, and the next day, a Sabbath, his fame had the synagogue leaders asking him to give the address.
As he looked out at the men on his left, the women on his right, and the ritual called for everyone to stand, Jesus noticed an open space o the women’s side where the crowd had to open enough to make extra room for a woman who was bent double, leaning on a stick in front of her.
Jesus asked how long the lady had been that way, and the women near her relayed up the woman’s answer that it had been eighteen years.
No one supplied the lady’s name. Possibly no one knew it.
When I was in highs school, and we all got summer jobs to pay our tuition, five of my classmates got work cutting the grass in a Catholic cemetery, working under a year-round employee they knew as Sickle Ass. They talked about him all the time without ever referring to him by his family name or his given name.
When you are bent over like that you lose your name and everything else of which you could be proud. You became nothing but an old Sickle Ass.
When Jesus called the lady up, and the women had helped her forward, Jesus laid both hands on that old bent back. Thrilled through and through, the woman straightened up, looking wonderingly around, then fixing her grateful gaze on Jesus. She praised God. Wasn’t that wonderful?