I’m sitting, at this very moment, in a hospital waiting room in New York City while scheduled surgery is being performed on a loved one. No matter how routine – and this one is relatively so – the sights, the sounds, and the smells all around me remind me that this is no ordinary place, and that this is no ordinary day.
For this is a place of pain.
It’s a place of vulnerability.
And it’s a place of uncertainty and fright.
But more than anything, it’s also a place of healing – or at least it’s intended as such.
As my thoughts wander – no doubt an emotional desensitizing to the situation in some ways as effective as any anesthesia being used to alleviate the physical pain of surgery – I find myself returning to three basic, but most important, questions:
First, we are all vulnerable.
Physically, emotionally, morally. Whom do I trust to help guide me through the day, and is that trust properly placed?
Second, our vulnerability often causes pain. What corrective actions am I taking to get beyond that pain, or am I consciously or unconsciously repeating the very things that are causing that pain?
Third, our pain causes us to seek a path to relief and healing. Have I given thought to my options, do I understand the healing and recovery process, and do I fully appreciate the healer?
If our vulnerability is physical, no doubt we’ll seek out the best physicians and medicines to, as much as humanely possible, alleviate the pain, heal, and grow stronger. Without proper relief, we may soon find ourselves even more physically vulnerable or permanently disabled.
If our vulnerability is emotional, we may seek to balance treatment options between one or more medications and some type of talk, training, or other therapy. Without proper relief, we may soon find ourselves seeking false relief in a bottle, illegal substances, or even physical abuse against ourselves or others.
If our vulnerability is grounded in the moral realm, any resulting pain will require healing on a far different plane.
But there is no quick fix for this particular vulnerability – for only a radical transformation can finally trigger healing.
Without proper relief, we are lost.
Fortunately, there is a path to radical transformation – to a true and complete healing of mind, soul, and spirit.
For there is One true source – and that source will up-end our past, use our hurts, turn over our failures, and lead us to that place of radical healing.
We need only open our hearts.
So: Whom do you trust? What steps are you taking? Where is your path leading?
Updated and Revised – Originally Published in 2015 as My Three Post-Lenten Questions
Image Credit: Pixabay
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