Yesterday's blizzard brought heavy, sticky snow
that weighed down the trees in the woods,
bent them double, and froze their upper branches
to the ground. They covered the path.
I had to free them to pass:
pull the tops from the icy sow,
release the needles from heavy globs
and straighten the tree back up,
pressing against the snow's grip, the set shape,
the bank of ice around the tree's ankles.
My morning walk took twice as long as usual.
I am bent over, “weary and carrying heavy burdens.”
I am bowed down by wounds and habits,
held in place by frozen hurts.
It diminishes me, and gets in other people's way.
Christ comes and straightens me.
Pulls me out of what clings,
releases what weighs me down,
loosens what is stiff and crooked,
opens me up from being bent in on myself.
I can stand tall, face the sun, bear fruit.
I am the bent over woman.
“When he laid his hands on her,
immediately she stood up straight
and began praising God” (Lk. 13.13).
When something presses on me,
challenges my stance,
perhaps it's not my enemy,
but the hands of Christ,
come to straighten me up and set me free.