I’ve not written for a time because of a series of events that derailed my summer intentions. In early June my companion Daniel’s father (age 91) could not get back to bed from the bathroom, and since then he’s been back & forth between the hospital and nursing home rehab, unable to care for his wife, who has Alzheimers. So I have spent many days two hours from my home in Springfield, IL, getting simple meals and meds for Daniel’s mother when he’s at work, bringing work with me to do there. But no internet access in the house limited my blog writing abilities.
Very recently too I’ve developed health problems of my own–neuropathic symptoms (tingling, numbness, etc.) that may be related to a gluten sensitivity (we’ll see). I’d not been mindful of the gluten matter; it’s hard not to eat wheat when traveling, as I did just before the symptoms began to earnestly play out all over my body like a symphony that kept me awake at night. They’ve abated but not vanished since being off gluten, but I’ve just begun testing to find out the cause.
All this is the usual stuff of human existence, I know. A few thoughts about how daily lectio have interfaced with this summer’s challenges:
1) When feeling sleep-deprived and anxious about your mortal condition, sometimes prayer may revert solely into the first part of lectio: reading a psalm over and over again, letting ITS words do the praying around you.
2) Human distress is often on God’s mind, esp. when it’s due to impoverishment and a lack of family. Today’s Ps. 82:4: “Rescue the weak and the poor, and save them from the land of violence.” So many human beings have suffered immensely; no one is unique in this regard. And God calls us to remember this truth and to accompany one another–even, I sense, those past and present we will never know, but find ourselves driven by the Spirit to hold up in the space of prayer.
3) Nothing matters more than awareness (praise) of God, even if that awareness takes the form of a numbing of our spirit’s senses themselves (as a friend of mine experiences just now). Our lives become central in the scheme of things only when we recognize the vast center in God shining everywhere. Somehow I have always found this truth comforting. (I think Johann Sebastian Bach knew it very well.)