Friday, April 11, 2008

I added this as a health-care update

...but it doesn't really fit.

We have a healing Eucharist once a month, at school. My whiplash-shoulder has been bothering me off and on, but I went on general principles. When it's time for anointing, all of us who want it, or want to pray with our friends, gather around the presider. As she anointed me, I wasn't thinking of physical pain--but of things in my soul that have healed and need healing. After, though, as we gathered around the altar for Eucharist (thank you Lizette; I love when you do this), I noticed my shoulder was burning. It's back to a mild tickle now, but it burned for a long time.

When I noticed it, the meaning I took was, "Carry your woundedness into humanity with you." I'm sent to be a healer; I can't do that if I forget my own pain. I have to be strong enough to do my work, even through those things that hurt me. I've done a lot of it, and I have more.

I am sent to those who have their own strengths, and their own weaknesses. My father had a very strong bootstrap mentality: "I didn't need [insert caring action]; neither should you." I hear echoes of that in my own thinking, sometimes. They're faint, but they exist. I cannot carry that coldness into the world with me. I have to be open to the people who need Jesus brought to them. If I forget what it means to be broken, hurting, physically and emotionally wounded, I will be bones without flesh in the world.

I don't like having a shoulder that twinges, and that sometimes feels like a broken guitar string. But I expect it to completely heal. And I have friends here with chronic physical and mental conditions. They carry a depth of empathy that I don't come close to. That's what I want to learn from.

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