20 Sep Why Mending What’s Broken Always Means Moving
Only hours before, I lay immobile on the operating table. Numb from the chest down, I could only watch as nurses draped the sterile field of my abdomen with blue cloth. They counted gauze strips and scalpels, forceps and scissors. They prepared my body for the birth of my child, a birth in which I would be a passive observer.
Things were not going as I planned.
Thankfully, I couldn’t feel the incision dissecting my abdomen, the scalpel cutting through muscle to reach to my baby. Major surgery was done on the body I couldn’t feel, bringing a healthy, crying boy into a world he didn’t know.
Now, they were asking me to stand and to walk.
I had just been sliced open and sewn back up, and the medical team thought it best that I move. I couldn’t stand up straight for fear of ripping the incision back open, and the epidural had barely worn off to give me feeling in my legs. But they were asking me to move.
Medically, I knew their request was right. Moving after surgery prevents blood clots and pneumonia. Medically, it makes sense. But personally? I wanted to throttle someone. I wanted to stay in my bed and not move one inch. I wanted to snuggle my baby and let someone else take care of me.
But not moving means not healing, and being still means staying sick. So move I did, and the healing came.
I’m currently training for a marathon, and I’m in the thick of it. Every weekend brings a long run to build up endurance, since running 26.2 miles isn’t something you can do without slowly preparing your body.
Last Saturday, the training plan called for a run of 19 miles. After it was over, all I wanted was to be still. My legs and feet ached, and I was worn slap out. My body told me to just keep lying around, and though the plan called for a 5 miler just two days later, my body asked me to stay on the couch.
The plan called for me to move, because moving loosens back up the muscles that are tight. Moving enables the body to recover and to come back stronger. Moving is the best thing to do when you just want to be still.
It’s funny how physical life so often teaches us about the spiritual. Just as we have to move our physical bodies in order to mend, we have to move in our spirits to heal the wounds we carry there. Moving means mending.
Spiritual wounds are every bit as real as flesh wounds, but because they’re invisible, they’re easier to deny. I’ve found, too, that I often wrongly identify these wounds. I minimize them, telling myself things like, “Your feelings are just hurt,” or “You need to learn to remember without reliving.”
I see my wounds as character flaws and poor decisions, not festering sores infecting my entire being. And far too often, I just want to wallow in their pain. I find it easier to stay in the familiar hurt than to move into a place of healing.
But we have to heal if we want to be whole. And healing requires movement.
We have to move towards our Father, lifting our arms to him in praise and kneeling our wills to submit to his plan. We have to move our mouths to offer up prayers, and we have to move our eyes to read his word. We have to move towards friends who can speak life into our dead places, and we have to just keep on moving when all we want to do is stop.
We have to make an effort to move away from where we are so we can get to where we need to be.
Mending what’s broken always means moving.