Saturday, June 7, 2014

Compassion for What is Broken

"Moved with compassion, 
Jesus touched their eyes 
and immediately they could see." 
 Mt 20: 34

...if eyes can be healed, why not a foot?...

The month of June comes upon us  with the  word compassion trailing along in its wake.   The theme I've chosen for this month is compassion.  Everywhere I turn, everywhere I look, I see opportunities for compassion.  Right now I’m looking very close—as close as my own foot.  It’s this big black boot I have to tote around with me.  It’s the foot inside that I am showering with compassion.  Poor innocent foot that suffered trauma in an unfortunate car accident!

So here I am unexpectedly slowed down with the same amount of work to do.  I, who, teach the way of contemplation to others, find myself being invited to listen to my own words. The turtle that sits beside my foot in the picture wasn't staged.  It really is there--my night light inviting me to stop and rest.  It has even greater meaning now.

Life will go on even if I have to cancel a few retreats.  Life will go on even if I have change part of my plans for vacation. (no hiking)  Life will go on if I can’t be at all community functions.  At this moment I am called to care for my right foot…this foot that I haven taken for granted, this foot that I have forgotten to be (consciously) grateful for.  Now I totally understand St. Paul’s lovely analogy of the physical body and the Body of Christ… (1Cor12:12-26)  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body, “would it not then belong to the body?  “…if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.”  HOW TRUE IT IS!   When I take my boot off at night I am drawn to pray with it, to thank it for the healing that is happening, to ask its pardon for taking it for granted, to massage it gently and put lotion on it.  It is quite sacramental. I am being drawn into compassionate presence.  Although it is unfortunate that something violent had to happen in order for compassionate presence to come on stage, that is often the case in our lives.  Sometimes we are jarred into reflection.  I've been spending many moments in contemplation and gratitude recently.  Everything can become a teacher if we open our hearts to what is in front of us.

As a child June was one of my favorite months, freed from school I spent many hours with my feet in the waters of the creek that ran through our forest, catching crawdads, watching the minnows, listening to life.  And this banged up foot:  it was young then but it was there---feeling the waters rush over it.

O Christ of the Healing Waters, 
restore and heal 
all things in the world that are broken.


  1. I hope you are really nurturing that foot! Slowing down is OK!
    Maybe I can drop by and see you before too long!

  2. Sending along a wee prayer for uncomplicated healing...and thanksgiving for all you are learning (and sharing!)