27 August, 2007

Healing Hands

Things are looking better, there's sunshine on the other side of the dense clouds of responsibility that were obscuring my vision at the end of last week. The Gospel message yesterday centered on the woman with the crippled spirit from the 13th chapter of Luke, Jesus healed her from her ailment of eighteen years by laying his hands on her. She stood up straight and began praising God! The accompanying text reminded us that the same healing help is available regardless of what it is that cripples us... we only need to decide how we choose to receive that help.
Message received, loud and clear... or so I thought!
After church we ate downtown; my husband and son planned to stop, following our meal, at a local big-box home improvement store before we left the city and headed home. My mother-in-law chose not to go into the store, I stayed back in the car to wait with her while they ran in for the item they needed. It was a lovely afternoon, but warm, I lowered the car window in hopes of catching a passing breeze. I rested my arm on the open sill while she and I chatted about our plans for the week to come, I was turned toward her when someone suddenly grabbed my hand through the open car window! Huh? I was face to face now with a man, a stranger, who was mumbling something about how he couldn't help himself, he was just too tempted to grab a hold of my hand! Without saying a word, I firmly jerked my hand free from his grasp! He wandered off to his own car, laughing, and drove away. I was beyond furious and at the same time I was highly aware that my elderly mother-in-law is easily frightened; I looked to her to gauge her reaction and managed to remain steady and calm following this creepy "assault". She said she thought that must have been someone I knew, at first. When I explained to her that it wasn't, she dug down in her purse and quietly offered me her hand-sanitizer. About that time my husband and son reappeared from the store. It was over that quick, the guy was gone. Today I am left reeling by this 'personal space' invasion, a residual feeling of anger and confusion remains. Yet, I'm reminded again of yesterday's text. Jesus comes among us with words, and hands, to set us free; whether we're bowed down by responsibilities, or fear. I'm listening, I'm accepting... but, I'm also clearly aware of how important it is to be careful out there in the world. There are dangers, to be sure, and we can choose to let them hold us down or to swiftly pull away and rise up above the clouds, the burdens, the fears. I want to respond, in faith, like the healed woman; or like my mother-in-law, who praises God by offering her 'healing hands' to me in the form of an anti-bacterial gel named Purell.

Life is Good!

12 comments:

meggie said...

An eerie story. Your Mil was very sensible with her hand gel.

Laurie Ann said...

Wow, I am so sorry that you had that happen. Very scary! Thank God the man didn't have any real evil intentions. I'll keep you in my prayers that things slow down a bit for you!!

CONNIE W said...

How awful for a strange person to behave that way. He sounds dangerous. Glad that he left you alone and went on his way. Spooky.

Tanya said...

Wow, you do have some weird experiences. (I'm recalling the one with the people laughing at you when you spilled your groceries or something.) I had to smile at your Mother-in-law's practical way of handling the situation and being able to pull anything out of a purse. I'm always without something, pen, tissues etc. but Mom has it all in her purse.
God bless you and know you are in His hands.

Beth said...

I had the same feeling of 'space violation' at the baseball game on Friday. I was jiggling my knee..and the lady next to me CLAMPED down on my knee! It HURT! I wish she had just asked me to stop. I didn't even realized I was doing it. Luckily for me the game was almost over...

Ancestor Collector said...

First, I'm glad that you're feeling a bit better and not quite so overwhelmed. Second, good gosh!! Who would think some man would accost you in the parking lot of the home improvement store. Yikes!! But I had to laugh because I could just picture your MIL offering you the hand sanitizer. So funny, but a good plan, none the less! Next time you wait in the car, lock the doors and turn on the A/C! I shudder when I think about that creepy guy.

Jim V said...

Goodness sakes! I couldn't believe what I was reading. Thank God this was just some dumb prank and you are both okay. Or maybe this person was genuinely disturbed. Either way, I'm glad it was no more than a momentary scare. UGH!

You're certainly handling this better than I would have.

peggy said...

First, I think this is a creepy and awful experience. Second, how old is your MIL? Not to make light of all of this, but I'm wondering if I'm elderly yet. When does "elderly" begin these days?

Nancy said...

Dreadful experience. God bless MIL!

Reminds me of getting the letter from the guy in prison a few months back in response to an employment ad I'd placed. Violated and dirty feeling, but by post -- how awful to have it alive and in person!

Marcie said...

That is an experience that would jar you just from the surprise of a stranger grabbing you like that. I wonder if he thought he was being friendly? Hope you have recovered. I know I would have been shaken also.

mamaspark said...

Such a scary and creep experience and yet it is interesting but sometimes we are put to the test to see our reactions. Have you seen the stories about an odd and potentially creepy person asking someone for assistance and it turns out it was Jesus just checking their response? Maybe he saw your light and was drawn to it (not unlike the rest of us, I might add). Maybe not. I am glad you are alright, though.

Shelina said...

Ooh how scary. Maybe he thought you were someone he knew.