2  |  ROBERTA M. DAMON Dear Little Woman, I cannot imagine what you suffered for eighteen years. Nottobeabletostanderecthasallkindsofimplications—physical pain, emotional distress, the humiliation of being overlooked and discounted. I understand that in your culture, physical illness indicated punishment for sin—a double indictment. In my culture, handicapped people are perceived in a similar way. People tend to avert their eyes and avoid contact with such people. I suppose it has to do with the helplessness we feel in the presence of a catastrophic condition. You are amazing. How much did it cost you in energy and determination to be in the synagogue that day when Jesus saw you? And isn’t it astonishing that Jesus saw you—not just with his eyes, but with his great heart? I do know enough about your culture to know that a man was not to look at a woman—not to speak to a woman. And, certainly, a man was never to touch a woman in public. Don’t look. Don’t speak. Don’t touch. Jesus did all three. He always was unafraid to do things which scandalized the prim and proper—the keepers of the letter of the Law who were so absolutely convinced of their own righteousness. After eighteen years of being “bound by Satan,” according to Jesus, the miracle came that you had asked of God all that miserable time. When Jesus touched you—laid his hands on you—what must