by Jane Kretschmann
Honored disciple, I beg you not to find me presumptious in taking your time, but the more I hear of your devotion to the ministry of Jesus and of your support for his work, the more questions I have about your own ministry. I live in Philippi and have worshipped with others in my home since I was baptized two years ago. There is so much work to do here, so many spirits to lift, so many poor to feed. It would be such a benefit to women such as myself if we knew more of our Lord’s own work. Please write down your memories of your time with Jesus. Some say that you have a great insight into his teachings. Also, could you put down your observations of the work of other women in his mission. I imagine that because they were women, they faced obstacles in spite of their worthiness. And, if you can, please tell us of the days you bravely witnessed our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection. I have heard stories that he appeared to you and spoke to you. How amazing! How could you even take in such a mystery. I have one other special concern. It is said that Jesus cast out demons from you. Did you find yourself healed afterwards, freed from whatever was troubling your mind? Did you find in Jesus a source of comfort for your anxiety and depression? I ask because while Paul was still preaching in Phillippi, he cast out demons from a slave girl who was telling crowds to listen to him. I fear that, rather than being healed, this young woman was silenced from proclaiming the truth in public and her gift of prophecy not valued. Her story troubles me, since I have not been able to learn of her fate. Did men even try to silence you? Did Jesus rebuke them?
Jane K. Kretschmann of Piqua, Ohio, retired English professor from Edison State Community College, has work in print and online and broadcast on radio. Her chapbook, Imagining a Life, was published by FootHills Publishing. Recently, her poems appeared in Gyroscope Review, Mock Turtle Zine, NFSPS Encore 2022, and OPA Best of 2022. Edison premiered her readers’ theater Lynching Alabama. Jane participated in Poetry at Hayner: a Mosaic of Voices. The selections in this submission are from her series The Epistles of Lydia of Thyatira, the seller of purple from Acts 16.