Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pain Can Serve

When our bodies are sick or injured, it's an opportunity to listen to them for a change. We make so many demands of our bodies, and they do what they're told, almost all of the time. I'm amazed when I think how God inhabits my physical self: setting my heart to beating moment by moment, conducting an orchestra of muscle movements for each step I take. This is not something I should be taking for granted.

Which of course I have been taking for granted.

With my recent running injury I see what a miracle it is that I've been walking, hiking, moving unthinkingly throughout my life, straining those feet down there, those slim tendons in my ankles and calves, those finely crafted heels.

A couple years ago I lost my voice, off and on for several weeks. After a number of doctor visits, my wise naturopath asked, "One more thing I need to ask you. What is it you're not saying?" My body knew that I was suppressing my voice - there were statements I wanted to make through my life and writing, but I was pushing them away. Not long after this awareness the laryngitis cleared up.

This isn't woo-woo hocus pocus. Peoples all over the world have listened to illness this way for thousands of years. Once we tapped into some science, though, we westerners became too smart for all that stuff. We shunned our Creator and all the wisdom intricately laid within these amazing earth-ships that carry us through the atmosophere.

Most of us don't cultivate appreciation for our bodies. But we do notice those parts that make noise and start to hurt. A little pain, then, can be a good servant if it leads us to listen to the truth - and to appreciate what we have. Least, I'm making that choice today.

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