Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mostly Lost...Truly Found...


Lost & found...the themes of this week's gospel reading...of all
the scripture readings, actually. Makes me think of recent
personal losses- oh, nothing intense or profound like the loss of
a loved one, and yet at a deep level, intensely profound for me.

Recently, I have been experiencing a problem in my right hip
which has been affecting both my mobility and my sense of
comfort and well-being. The result of an old injury caused by an
auto accident, the problem flared this summer as I tried to keep
up with mostly-younger people in a strength-and-flexibility
class at a local yoga studio. By the end of five weeks (I couldn't
even go to the sixth!) I was in almost-continuous pain and
found myself walking...getting in and out of the car...getting
up from a chair...navigating the stairs...like a decrepit old woman.
ME- who had prided myself on remaining as youthful as possible-
at least in terms of my physical abilities and good health.

Now, I have long acknowledged the reality of my aging, clearly
seeing the encroachment of wrinkles on my face and neck and
hands and knees. I refuse to dress like a twenty-something and
have become quite comfortable with my long-white hair. But in
these recent weeks, I have come to realize that this loss of
mobility is causing me deep, intense grief, and has been engen-
dering more than a little fear in the heart of this fiercely-independent
aging person.

Having had some good success with acupuncture in the past to
relieve pain, I returned to the same caring practitioner and after
three weekly treatments, I am doing much better...at least a
50% improvement. But I have had to allow another loss to
happen- I have had to be willing to relinquish my need to be
active, bust, physically on-the-go, and to permit my body to
rest and heal. Indeed, when I asked Diane on Monday if I could
resume yoga practice, she smiled, patted my hand, and said in
her soothing voice, "There is a time for everything, and this is
the time to rest so your body can heal. Activity will come."

So- lots of reading...far more at-home time...eschewing daily
walks and yoga practice...and finding in the process a sense
of peace, even joy, in the awareness of my dear body's needs...
acknowledging both the losses and gifts of aging...and finding
myself held in the arms of Love, ministered to by the hands
of healing, the Divine in the human flesh of my acupuncturist.

Oh, I know- this is nowhere as life-shattering as the discovery
of the author of one of my favorite hymns, "Amazing Grace",
when he felt God saving him from his life as a slave-trader,
but I feel quite intensely and intently his words- "I once was
lost, but now I'm found..." Lost youth...lost mobility...lost
self-image...and yet so much found- serenity, peace, healing,
awareness. And I can truly say today with my patron saint,
Julian of Norwich, "All manner of things shall be well."
      Thanks be to God.

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