It’s so obvious I never even saw it until a couple days ago. A friend and I were talking about how hard things can be, even and especially during the holidays. He was reeling from the sucker punch of a less-recent blow combined with a fresh jab, I was nursing a new sore spot in a long history of bruises, and things began connecting in my mind in a way they hadn’t before.
I’ve been familiar for years with the problems of undiagnosed illnesses and hidden injuries and the understanding that these things have to be found and examined and treated before healing can begin. But this season I’m learning another aspect of how old wounds continue to manifest. I’m learning, really learning, that healing is rarely if ever complete in this life, and never neat and linear. I’m discovering that even after infected areas are cleaned and bones are set and therapy is done, the aches and pains still flare up when I’m overtired, when the weather changes, when someone unknowingly jars me at the site of an old injury.
Of course this is how it is. How could it be otherwise? And of course it will pass. This flare-up will wind down and all days won’t be so hard and glimpses of joy will surprise me from unexpected places. This is just one of the days when I have to wait it out, drawing strength and comfort from the prayers of friends, and from words I came across in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation this morning: “But the goal (in contemplation, in prayer, maybe in just getting through the day) is not success at all, only the practice itself.” (parenthetical statement mine)