I read today that the English 'to heal' has its linguistic origins in Old English with a meaning of 'to make whole', rather than 'to cure', for which it 'to heal' is sometimes used today.
This week's midweek musing is inspired by the experience of being home, where I am seeking to nurture myself back to healing and wholeness.
What are the things that make you whole? What leads you towards healing?
Where do you go?
Who do you speak to, listen to, sit with, see?
How do you recover, rejeuvenate, recharge?
Why heal and be whole?
Talking with a friend today we noted the idolisation of self-giving in some parts of Christian tradition. The church encourages the giving of time to turning up at every event, the sharing of expertise on every committee, the using of every one of your gifts and even doing things that aren't your gift at all.
Why do you need to spend time and energy on yourself?
For a start, if you are not healthy and whole, you won't have energy to turn up, your ability to utilise your expertise will be diminished, and you will not perform your gifts at their best.
More, though, as Heather said today, if you don't care for yourself, given that we are integrated beings whose health is interwoven with the health of others in our communities, how can you encourage another to care for themselves? There is an implicit 'love yourself' in the command to 'love others', which is so closely tied to the command to 'love the Divine'.
A community is only as healthy as its individuals; an individual's health is nurtured by healthy community.
God tells the people of Israel they will be holy because God is holy. As I prepare the letter to the Romans for performance in 2016, I am adapting the language for 21st century audiences. I am using 'holiness' for God's action of making us 'right' with God (righteousness, justification): the Holy One welcomes us into holiness and this is a making 'right', a restoring to wholeness.
Holy One – Holy Three welcomes us into the holiness of their dance of love and interdependence. We need to be whole so that we are all whole. It is the driving action of the Divine, that we would be healed, well: whole.
So where will you go this week to restore your wholeness?
Who will you spend time with?
How will you care for yourself?
For those you care for will be restored to wholeness along with you in your wellbeing, as you are with them in theirs.