I believe we need that honest exchange and interaction that calls us to be the best that God intended — full-grown, strong and straight inside — able to stand erect in the midst of an often despairing and regularly cynical world to give hope and strength and esteem and self-assurance and confidence to others. Only then will their spirits and ours be “straightened.” Only then will we and they hear His words: “Woman, Man, Child, you are rid of your infirmity — your troubles are over!”
The Rev. Richard G. Parker is a retired American Baptist and a United Methodist minister who lives in Newburyport with his spouse, Karen. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.