The theme for May is Healing. There are quite a few ways of understanding the idea of being healed and I thought it might be helpful to have a look at some of them in the context of our spiritual meanderings.
Like many (if not all of you), my own understanding of healing is informed and influenced by personal experience, as well as the experiences of others. The journey from childhood to older age is punctuated by encounters with injury and poor health. Minor and major. My own journey was most recently informed by radical surgery for oesophageal cancer. An operation that took place on this weekend 3 years ago. It’s an experience I think about often as it changed the course of my life in so many ways.
During my recovery phase, I read a great deal and re-acquainted myself with the poetry of Wendell Berry – farmer, philosopher, poet and theologian. As some of you know, I just love birds. Here’s a poem that spoke to me a great deal:
‘When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.