Friday, October 29, 2010

A last thought on health

Somehow I have found myself almost to the end of October and I see that there is so much more I could or should have said about health, especially from the spiritual aspect of it.  I have been pressed for time lately, and have many more ideas, but I really need to sit down and sort them out in a cohesive manner that would make sense to all readers.   Probably come springtime, during Great Lent, I can make a better go at this, but for now I need to wrap things up with a conclusion.  And that conclusion is this:

We cannot have good health in isolation from each other.

God said from the very start: "And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.'" Genesis 2:18   From a lesser authority, Wendell Berry in his book The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture  states this: "To try to heal the body alone is to collaborate in the destruction of the body.  Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness.  Conviviality is healing.  To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation." (pp.103-104, from Chapter entitled "The Body and the Earth")

As an Orthodox Christian, I really dig that last line about the feast of Creation. We fast and feast in our Church like no one else I know.  Particulary, the wedding feast imagery is huge in Orthodox Christianity.   Christ's Church is the bride, and He is the Bridegroom. It is not for nothing that the first wonder that Jesus works in the New Testament is turning the water into wine at the wedding at Cana.  There will be much more on this Bridegroom imagery once we get to Holy Week.  It is so beautiful and other-worldly, I can't wait to share it all with you.  I wish it were Holy Week right now.  Sorry, I've digressed once again.

In order to further prove this point of healing with the involvement of others, I will relay to you this brief testimony of someone "being there" for me.  You may think it's lame, but at the time, it meant the world to me.

This occured during a time that I was a bit down in the dumps about some things, nothing earth shattering, but unpleasant enough that I wasn't my usual self.   I had been walking with a woman, who was no more than an aquaintance, and having just pleasant chit-chat about nothing really when she suddenly stopped the conversation and said, "You know, you have really beautiful hair."  I thanked her of course, but then quickly had to excuse myself because I was on the verge of bursting into tears.  I know it was a compliment on my appearance, but it was so unexpected and sincere that I almost could not contain the joy it caused me.  It was the nicest thing anyone had said to me in awhile, and at least for the next few days, I lived on that kind compliment.  And here's the kicker, this woman was in the process of recovering from late stage cancer surgery.   So when she could have been talking about her trials with this very serious illness (and rightfully so!!!) instead she must of sensed something amiss with me and said whatever she thought might cheer me up.    We should all have such awareness of each other!

And so dear ones, I end with this quote from the ancient Jewish Philosopher Philo Judeaus (15 BC -50 AD).  Ponder it, but more importantly, put it into use.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Ain't that the truth.

No comments: