The Director of my Clinical Pastoral Education program (known as CPE ~ that training ground for pastors in which we encounter Real People in Crisis, usually in medical settings, for the purpose not so much of learning to care for them as for learning to know and care for ourselves) ( possibly a dubious enterprise, but that's another post) was fond of raising the issue of the relationship between physical and spiritual ailments, and between life crises and health.
I'm not sure what to make of the various theories about body-spirit connections. In some matters, the relationship seems obvious. In others, not so much. I'm sure the examples are well known to you.
That said, as I ponder the book which Michelle sent to me (previous post), I find myself wondering, with ample time this week to wonder, about my own rather dramatic juxtapositions of late. What's this journey been revealing? What do I carry?
I started seminary nearly seven years ago, brimming with energy and optimism, and a year later my son died of suicide.
I was called to a church after a year's wait and, in catching up on health care so that I could give my undivided attention to our official beginning together, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I was called to a new church two years later and, with a congregation taking a new and positive deep breath of hope for the future, slipped down my front steps onto a fractured ankle.
I carry a half-filled urn of ashes (we've been some places), a long and ugly scar, and now a plate and some pins.
I'm not depressed at all. Don't read despair into these words; it's not there. And it's not as if I could make any big changes in my life; these days I can barely hop to the bathroom.
But I am VERY curious. Mystified. I have young seminary classmates, and some not so young, who in the three/four years since we were in school have acquired spouses, children, first homes, major trips, and even more confidence in God than they brought with them to school. And, ok, to be honest, my own life was pretty spectacular at 35. And I could write a gratitude post for the last few years a mile long.
But seriously, why do all these things keep happening? And what's with the timing?!