Archive for April, 2012

Well, I lived through my surgery, but I am a changed person.   Nothing is more likely to put a person in touch with their mortality than  spinal fusion.  You think you are in charge.  You’ve got it handled.  Then there you are, stripped of power symbols, just another aging patient, bared bottom,  waiting for the big cut that embodies your submission to the inevitable.

Now the healing is as much psychological as physical.  What works for me is ruminating on my own truth, turning it over and over in an attitude of prayer.

Meditation on Psalm 139

The thoughts belong to the Psalmist, but the words are mine.

Lord, you have touched me,
And you have known me.
You are there when I sleep,
Still there when I rise.
You understand my thoughts.
You light the turnings of my path
And speak meaning to my days.

No word slips from my tongue
That you have not first tasted.
You challenge me on every side.
Your hand is laid upon me.
Such intimacy confounds.
It is more than I can bear.

Where can I hide from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I scale the vault of Heaven,
You are waiting for me there.
If I turn spitted over coals in Sheol,
Your blessing cools
And soothes my brow.

If I soar pink and purple
On gilded wings of dawn
Or sink with groans and bubbles
To the very bottom of the sea,
Even there your hand reaches for me
And draws me to your way.

If I drown in darkness,
You fill me with the light
That darkness cannot hide.
Night shines as though it were day.
Your darkness and your light
Are both the yin and the yang
Of my soul’s complex desire.

You called my soul to life
As I floated in the womb.
Thank you for this my form,
So exquisitely wrought.
My bones and my flesh,
My blood, all are yours,
Though made in mystery
And knit in pulse and blood.

You trace my geometry of form,
The secret alchemy it hides.
My formulae were writ upon your mind,
Coded there before I ever was.
It was your dream that made me, God;
Can I be aught but good?

You who dare to ply such skill
To create this miracle of me,
Can you not arrest the grip of rage?
Silence voices taut with pain?
Heal the leper, blind and lame?
Guide the crazed back to their mind?
Declare the Brotherhood of Man?


Of course.  You’ve done your part.
The rest is theirs and mine.
What shall we say to those
Who offer up your name in praise
But wander from your way,
Who chant your song from choir loft
But chase the beggar from the gate?

Look deep into my heart, O God.
Is selfishness my game,
Or is my promise really yours?
These hands you made for me,
This mind that toys with rhyme,
Can they ever learn to do your work,
Or are they only meant for mine?


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