Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Playing Injured

At the wedding on Saturday, an long time friend of mine and uncle of the bride, Mike, played Irish music during the reception with his right wrist wrapped because of carpel tunnel. He was in a good deal of pain but wanted to play anyway. I have encountered a good deal of people in recent weeks and months that have played anyway, not out of some stoicism or bravery, nor some misplaced macho need, but because playing was what they do, no matter the condition. Whether musicians, or clergy or other workers in the field, I have watched as individuals have given their best, even with physical and emotional challenges. They go ahead even with the aches and pains, the barriers and belligerence because that is what they do. That is who they are. And for many, keeping active and moving, even with restrictions means staying alive and offering what we have. The challenge for all those, and there are legions, who play wounded, is to find ways to rest and heal. The hardest thing to believe is that people will let you back in to the game if you take time out to rest and heal.

"Come to me, all you that are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

In this season of transitions and changes, I want to remember all of those who today have to play wounded, have to keep doing because they are the only income source or parent in the household. I want to remember and lift up those who are weary and carrying a very heavy burden for their community and family. People are counting on them and they feel as if they need to keep playing with injuries and pain for the sake of those whom they love. May we all hear Jesus call to us. May we all accept the rest and the lightening of the load. May we have the courage to rest when invited, knowing that God will find a use for our healing pieces as well as our broken bits. May we give thanks that we can rest and share a lightened load, knowing that God is shouldering our pain and cares right along with us. Not one of us suffers alone, nor plays injured without God playing along with us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Bishop Carol, THANK you. I've been struggling with chronic pain for almost two years now. It's been quite a journey. Sometimes the burden really pushes me to the ground, and at other times I can accept that rest and refreshment. This evening, I really needed to read your words... even though I repeat that verse of Matthew every night at Compline.

Peace and blessings,