No, this picture is NOT of me! I only wish I had that kind of balance — which is what I’m writing to you about today!
You see, I was walking down the hallway outside my church office the other day and found myself gently bouncing off the right side of the wall. Kinda’ strange, I thought. Then I was walking carefully down the stairs in our home and had I not been holding onto the banister, my body would have unwillingly swerved from one side to the other — and not gracefully. Hmm. A couple of times as I’ve tried to stand from a sitting position, I have lost my balance – like I’m tilting one way too much to stand up straight. Double hmmm.
This morning on my way to church, I was on my car phone talking to Philip as I drove because he’s still concerned for my safety in my recovery and likes to “talk me to work” as I drive — so sweet, huh? Well, sure enough, we’re quietly talking, I’m focused on the road and then boom, I find the car sort of swerve a smidge and my tire scrapes the curb on the right side. Not a big deal, but a weird swerve nonetheless. (Don’t worry, Philip, I checked the tire and it didn’t do too much damage!)
So I am feeling unbalanced. Now I’ve done a little research on this imbalance phenomena and it’s not totally uncommon with a surgery like I’ve had where you are missing a body part or a body part has been surgically removed from one place and transplanted to a different location.
You see, the latissimus dorsi is a fairly large muscle at the side of the body, under the armpit and around the back. My left one has been moved from my back where it’s been for 60 years and repositioned to the front part of my chest. I can almost hear it saying, “What’s up with this?!!?”
I’m thinking that my poor latissimus dorsi muscle doesn’t know what to do or how to respond to movement any more! It’s having to learn a whole different way of responding and it’s having to relearn how to move, flex, stretch, and work in sync with the rest of the body. So every once in awhile, there’s a glitch, and my body … well, it gets decidedly out of balance. I can look a little like a drunken sailor — and oh my, how attractive that is for a chic priest!
I’m of course thinking about spiritual parallels and where the “gold in the road” is in this new phenomena of feeling out of balance at weird moments.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has any thoughts — please use the comment section to share. You’ll find the “leave a comment” option in small italicized print at the end of this post. Please let me hear from you!
But in the meantime, but here’s my take: Healing is of course a process and the last time I healed from major surgery, it was from the removal of my breasts — they were taken out of my body. In this case, it’s something that been moved around … significantly moved around.
We as the Body of Christ hurt and are really out of balance when someone or someones are taken from us — either by death or moving or even by their own desire to leave the Christian faith. We FEEL the lack of them in our Christian bodies and we are out of balance because of it!
Likewise, when a part of our Christian Body is “transplanted” — moved from one part of the Body to another part, there is another season of imbalance. A season when we seem to be moving along okay and then we are surprised by a sudden swerve, a bump against a wall, or an inability to just easily stand up from a seated position. The change of location of this part of the Body requires a time to relearn how to do things — both for the body part itself and for the place in the body where that part used to live and function.
I feel as if I’m talking to someone or someones out there who have experienced the recent loss of those who have been important members of your Body of Christ. Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one or maybe you are one of those dear ones whose local church body has had to leave your beloved old church and are now transplanted to a new space … and you are feeling less than balanced in this new season.
Well, I think Paul was wise when He used the physical body as an amazing metaphor for the Body of Christ. I am feeling in my physical body some of things of which he wrote so well.
And just as it’s okay for me to say that today I’m not feeling all that balanced because of my recent physical surgery, so it is okay for some of my brothers and sisters to say the same about recent spiritual surgeries or events that have changed their local Body of Christ.
I pray this blesses someone today! In the meantime, pray for me for straight driving, straight walking and straight standing!
Lots of love in Christ,
After more than 25 years in parish ministry, Rev. Cathie retired in early 2018 to pursue a quieter life with her husband Philip in the mountains of Central Oregon. Although no longer a leader in congregational life, she continues to follow her calling and passion to minister to those who suffer, especially those with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.