Yesterday I spent much of the afternoon studying John 11, which the class I have been attending until I fell and broke my ankle discussed last Monday night. I want to keep up with the syllabus and be ready for the day I can return to class.
Bruce brought me my stack of books from my office, and I immersed myself in the Gospel story of Martha and Mary's distress over the death of their brother Lazarus and Jesus performing his last major miracle before his crucifixion. It was an afternoon of deep contentment, and except for the obvious hunk of concrete splayed in front of me on the ottoman, I forgot about my ankle. I was doing what I love to do--reading, studying, reflecting, knowing I would eventually write about what I was learning.
One of the books I consulted was Women in the Ministry of Jesus by Ben Witherington III, a book in many ways that is over my head. For one thing I can't read Greek. Even so, there are words that seem written specifically for me. Witherington refers to the story in Luke in which Martha is upset Mary doesn't help her serve Jesus, but instead sits at his feet and listens to him. Witherington writes, "…it is a matter of contrasting the importance of listening to and learning the word of God to anything else. We are dealing with a matter of priorities and only one thing can come first and be absolutely necessary."
Healing is and needs to be my priority.
It's not that I didn't know that, nor have I ignored what many have been saying. One friend said, "It's all about healing now. Think constantly of your healing." Another, "Give yourself the time to heal quickly and completely." Yet another, "Broken ankles are just not acceptable." Love that!
I didn't think I was fighting what needs to be my focus, but I hadn't moved it into my heart. My body was quite clear about the necessity, as was my mind, but the heart was lagging behind. I had been thinking about how I could best use this time--what books I want to read and what writing I want to do; how I can finally go through the stacks of household and tax papers and decide what can be tossed and how this would be the perfect time to clean out my computer files. I had not yet created a list with the title, Things to Do While Healing," but I was forming it in my head.
And how could I not use this time to reflect on the meaning of this experience. Why did I fall and why now? Am I not grounded enough? Did I need to be stopped cold in my tracks? All good questions, and I know in time I will sit with these thoughts, but right now the priority is to heal.
What exactly does that mean? For me right now it means staying awake enough to know when I need to nap. It means paying attention to know when I am overriding what my body is telling me. It means accepting today, each day, and remembering as a friend reminded me that we become stronger in the broken places. She also said, "Our years bring us wisdom and fragility." Thoughts for another day.
Late in the afternoon as I ended my session of study, I glanced out our sunroom windows from the chair where I have set up my temporary office. The troop of elementary kids from the nearby parochial school were bouncing and bounding down the sidewalk, and I felt my whole body respond, "I love my life." What a glorious moment of healing.
Does healing, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, need to be a priority in your life? What are the signs that is so and what does it mean for your life? What are you willing to do to make that happen? I would love to know.