My legs used to be strong. I used to run with the other kids in the dusty streets of Philippi, but I haven't been able to do that since Papa's mule kicked me. It took a long time for me just to be able to limp along and even longer to be able to help Mama with simple tasks like fetching water. I was glad to be useful again, but still terribly embarrassed by the clumsy way I walked.
As I neared the well, I saw a man, all alone. He was kneeling near the well, praying. I stopped a ways off, so as not to disturb him, but he must have heard my feet scuffling along in the dirt because he turned and smiled at me.
"Good morning, Sara," he said, motioning for me to come closer.
"You know me, sir?" I asked.
"Yes, child, I know you." he said, then he asked me to draw water that he might have a drink.
As I lowered my vessel into the well, the man spoke again.
"Sara, I see you limp, does it hurt?"
I nodded as I drew the vessel back to the top again. "Yes, it hurts, but my father says that there is a man named Jesus, who can touch me and make me well again. We have heard that he is coming to our village soon."
"Do you believe this man can heal you, Sara?" he asked.
I hesitated. I wanted to say yes, that I believed it with all my heart, but the truth is, that I just didn't know if any man could heal a person just by touching them. "I want to believe," I said. "I hope he can."
"Sara, I am Jesus," he said.
There was something about the way he said his name that caused my heart to jump in my chest.
"You are the man sent from God?" I asked.
"I am," he said and again my heart leapt.
"Can you really heal me?" I asked.
Again he nodded and this time he reached out and put his hand on my shoulder, then raising his eyes to heaven he said, "Father, bless this child with health that she might be your witness in Philippi."
With that, a warmth moved through my body, moving from where his hand rested on my shoulder downward to my legs and feet. I heard or felt (I'm not sure which) a popping and stretching and then the pain was gone. My bent leg was straight again. The funny thing is that I hardly noticed the newness of my legs until he removed his hand, for I was mesmerized by the way he looked at me.
"Sara," he said in the most loving voice I had ever heard, "You are healed, go and tell your family, tell everyone you know that today God has touched you and tell them that I am coming."
Before I knew it I was running, yes, running! Straight and strong and fast! I ran all the way through the village, passing several women on their way to the well. They stopped to stare, but I didn't mind. I kept laughing and running all the way back to my house.
I had completely forgotten about the water and had left our jar sitting near the well, but I didn't get in trouble, because when Mama and Papa saw me running towards them, they were so happy they cried!
(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)