Archive for March, 2015

There seems to be a marked increase in the number of diagnosed cases of diabetes among my circle of friends and acquaintances. Most of these newly diabetic men and women are Type II, meaning they will have to adjust to a balance of medications that help the body to use the insulin it still produces, along with changes in diet and exercise. It is not a diagnosis to be taken lightly. Several of my friends have been diagnosed as Type I, like me, meaning their bodies no longer produce insulin and they will have to adjust to daily injections of insulin (I wear an insulin pump), close monitoring of their blood glucose levels and real changes to diet and exercise. Whether Type I or Type II, this diagnosis most often results in a psychological, physical, and spiritual shift that translates into something akin to a west cost earthquake.

I recall the day I was first diagnosed, the day my doctor handed me a meter to test my blood sugar and told me (my words) I was now on manual drive instead automatic. Everything I ate and everything I did was going to effect my blood sugar and my way of navigating through each and every day.  I finally had some insight into what was going on with my body. The blurry vision, fatigue, confusion and feeling of panic was grounded in a very real response to high blood sugars. I recall that day. I felt as though I had been handed a death sentence, not that I was going to literally die. I had more of an identity death. The ‘body ‘part of mind-body-spirit had betrayed me.

You may be wondering what this has to do with a blog site dedicated to spiritual formation. Simply put, everything related to mind and body has a profound influence on all things spiritual. Issues of faith, trust, health, core values, vocation, even family and community flow in and through our spiritual selves. And so, I began a darker journey of trying to re-assemble myself, testing assumptions about   what was and was not possible for my future.  Part of my process included creating a short video entitled “Food and Faith.” which you are welcome to view.carrycross2

It is easy enough to accept tragedy, chronic illness, loss and other personal  assaults as a ‘cross to bear’, as if we have been personally targeted to be pressed  down by some God directed lesson, as if suffering is the only way to carry a cross.  But here is another perspective. Matthew 16:24 was the gospel text on Sunday. Then Jesus told his disciples, “If  anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” I must have read this scripture a hundred times and only just realized the distinction between picking something up and setting something down. Just maybe I should change my focus from carrying the burden of ‘my cross’, setting it down, freeing myself, mind-body-spirit, to more fully follow the lead of the Cross Bearer. 

Just as managing chronic illness is a daily business, so is the daily choice we have to put on Christ, to self identify with the Cross Bearer, to live sacramentally and rooted in the One who calls us by name and to lift high the cross of Hope and Love that is ours as Easter people. I will continue to journey through this season of Lent, remembering the call God has placed on my life, resetting my intention to remain focused on the light of Christ even as our world dwells in shadow. I will continue to journey with others, finding strength in community and our mutual commitment to a life of Christian faith.11046726_1013784178650220_298275671874258863_o



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