Breathing through it
By Kent French
March 31, 2017 - 9:36am
This recent orthopedic setback has given me time to look at life slightly differently. It has definitely forced me to slow down. It has given me an opportunity to receive kindness and care from this beloved community, in emails, cards and delicious food. I am deeply grateful. You, along with my mother and better half and close friends, have encouraged me not to rush things. Thank you for your kind admonitions, your love, prayers and generosity. I look forward to being back with you in worship this Sunday.
It’s also given me a chance to connect with other people about their injuries.
Another member of the congregation broke a small bone in her foot last week. I was musing with her how these little setbacks are the corporal version of losing your house key, your driver’s license or a credit card. You realize and more fully appreciate how much you rely on this small object. I continue to marvel at the wonder of the human body. Each ligament, each joint, each sinew, each strand of tissue is important to the whole project. And until one part isn’t working, you don’t fully appreciate it.
My young Lyft driver this week told me how my leg brace gave him a twinge, reminding him of how he broke his kneecap in six places in a pick-up basketball game a couple of years ago. It took him about a year to recovery fully. Being a natural athlete, he tried amping up his physical therapy and that only set him back further.
Our conversation took us from talking about broken bones, to the brokenness of the situation in Israel-Palestine (I had just come from a meeting with five members of the Israeli Knesset [parliament] and it turned out that he has a Palestinian girlfriend.) And given that he’s black and I’m white, we started to hint at the brokenness in our own culture, but didn’t quite have a long enough ride to get into it.
Ezekiel understood something about brokenness, about setback and despair. He wrote about it in an iconic passage about dry bones in the desert being brought back to life by the ru’ach, the holy breath of life (Ezekiel 37:1-14). We’re going to look at it this week on the fifth Sunday in Lent. And through it all, we will ask ourselves, “Where is that healing breath of life? Where is that Spirit of God that knits us all together?"
I look forward to breathing, praying, and re-membering ourselves together again this Sunday.