We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. Mother Teresa
I took a nasty, nasty fall about two weeks ago. As I was rinsing myself off in the shower, I slipped backwards falling out of the shower door, slipped again on the wet tile and landed on my left arm. As I was falling, I heard two cracks near my shoulder as I came to a rest on the cold wet floor.
I had my whole Christmas vacation planned out: I wanted this time to be quiet, with lots of spiritual renewal that included reading, meditation and morning mass. All those plans were scrapped after I fractured my left shoulder in two places. I’ve been in bed ever since. I’ve attempted to go out but can only sustain about an hour before the pain starts to return.
One of the things I wanted to focus on during this time of renewal was to set the intention of becoming more present. I’ve learned how to be many things but haven’t taken the time to learn how to be human. I guess I was in line with what I needed to learn, but the way I had planned on learning it wasn’t in line with the Spirit.
Instead of praying about it in a dark chapel, with only myself and God, the Spirit had other methods instead.
While in bed, I thanked the Lord for all he had blessed me with during the first days of my injury; especially for the surprise blessings. My landlady drove me immediatly to the hospital and made sure to ask all the right questions I couldn’t think of due to the shock of the fall. I thanked the Spirit for Angelina as she was the first sister I text while I was on my way to the emergency room. Her first response was, “what can I do to help you out?” I thanked the Lord for my warm bed and a job that allowed me to take an extra week off without hesitation.
On one occasion, I was tired of being cooped up in the house and needed to get out for some air. I decided to get pancakes at my new favorite restaurant – The Pancake House. The manager who is very hands on, saw that I was injured and offered to butter my pancakes for me as well as pour the syrup. My usual response would have been, “no, that’s ok, I can do it.” This time, instead of thinking about what others would think, or the awkwardness of allowing someone to do something for me, I said “yes” without hesitation and welcomed the help.
Over the last several weeks, due to the injury, I’ve learned something about the human body. My arm needed to swell two times its normal size in order to hold the fractured parts of the bone in place so that it could heal. It was painful as hell, but at the same time, it was a reminder that the body already knows how to take care of itself.
Yesterday, when I went to service, all I could muster was a pair of jeans, a black t-shirt and my hair (imaginatively) tied up in a sloppy bun. As I sat in the pew with other worshippers who were dressed to the nines smelling of expensive perfumes and colognes, I clutched my broken arm tight as I felt the pangs of vulnerability take over my body. As much as I’ve been blessed, the human experience of being vulnerable can sometimes be a little too much.
As I type this blog, it’s becoming a lot more clearer that I have learned something of what it means to be human. It may not have been the way I wanted to learn it, but I’m thankful for the experience.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!