Our bodies, and hearts, and minds, and souls are all connected amazingly into an interdependent system just like the interconnectedness of all the plants and animals, waters, sun, and sky are all interconnected on this planet earth. Within ourselves, if we are really aware of what is going on in our bodies as well as our minds and hearts and souls, then we take each new or old thing in our midst as a metaphor for the health of the whole. I am so aware these days of all that distracts me from loving God, be it my fears or angers or catering to myself. I wrote recently about the new way that I was given to highlight how stuck I am in the world lately—waving to no one in particular when I am concerned about how I look or about what others might be saying about me. The other gesture that came to me is to be used in response to fear or anger of any kind: I just pat myself on the shoulder and say, “It will be okay!”
Amazingly, these two gestures in the physical realm are helping me see how much I am off of my primary purpose of loving God. I don’t believe that these old issues will go away, but just acknowledging them by touch and gesture is teaching me so much. Lately, I have had a huge bruising problem on my forearms and around my knees. Finally, I am understanding that these emerging bruises were highlighting these fears and other-orientation. Now that God has given me the pat on the shoulder and the wave, and I have really taken to them, the bruises are fading. Other physical problems like the arthritis in my knees is teaching me about my ability to kneel, to humble myself. I also have had bunions in my feet for years. Now I am understanding that I am too much grounded in the world, that I am still in and of the world, so I need to recommit to God, to be in this world but truly not of the world. [John 15:19] What I am seeing is that my body’s challenges highlight the problem as I view it through a metaphor a whole lot faster than my mind ever will, so steeped as it is in all that it’s been taught by the world. So, I am grateful to my body for all the signals it sends to my heart and mind and soul.
As we listen to the signals that our bodies are sending us, and are aware of how preoccupied our minds are with all that our family, our culture, and the world have taught us, we can begin to step back from their influence on us. As we are successful in turning our energies to God, then these issues just recede and recede until they have little influence on who we are and on what we do. As these issues lose power over us, it means that we more and more belong to God. And what a relief that is!
Can you imagine the freedom you will have? The burdens that will be lifted? The emerging true self that can now emerge? The power and authority you will claim from God? The presence of God that you will experience? And you will experience the wisdom that comes, the peace, the joy, and the love and forgiveness that are yours for your whole life—set aside for you, from the time that God created you in your mother’s womb.
The more we resolve these issues that constrain us and let God heal them, the better able we are to deal with the fear and uncertainty of what is going on in our world, in our country today. We are able to enjoy God’s peace and joy and love and forgiveness. We are able to live out our purpose and find true fulfillment in our lives. These gifts of God have been with us throughout our lives, but it takes a lot of healing before we can truly rest in them.
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I able to see through issues in my body what I need to know spiritually? Can I use metaphors to help me to understand what God is telling me? Or is everything I know about my body just referring to the body?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who find God’s wisdom for us wherever and in whatever it arises. May we seek to understand all that is happening in our lives as clues for our discerning.
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- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com and I will send it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.