Carrying my story

She stood at the back of the room, the ridges of her thin-exposed spine pressed hard against the faint give of the wallpaper, and spoke through tears.  She quoted John 5, through clotted tears in her throat and the pain of 20 years as a pastor's wife:
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
He could have left his mat there, she said.  But Jesus told him to take it with him.  And so do we, the broken and crippled, who have languished on our mats and now show the world the mat and the healing through words.  Take up your bed, and walk.  Take up your story, and go into the world telling everyone you meet that you are healed.

I am healed.

And I'm carrying my story - my mat - every day of the week.