Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

By his blood, he reconciled us.
By his wounds, we are healed.
--from Eucharistic Prayer C, p. 370, Book of Common Prayer

I was reading an interesting article in one of the "trade journals" some while back about "occupational injuries in pathology." It should come as no surprise that the most likely place on the body that pathologists get injured is along a C-shaped line running from the back of the thumb around the web of skin between the thumb and first finger of the non-dominant hand.

It makes total sense because the non-dominant hand is the hand in which we hold the tissue that our dominant hand is going to cut with a knife.

I was thinking about that the other day when I was praying. I tend to look at my own hands a lot when I'm praying. If I'm outdoors, I like to gaze in my chiminea fire. If I'm indoors and have candles, I tend to gaze at the candles. But when there's no fire to gaze upon, or no nature to gaze into, I tend to look at my own hands during prayer. I realized I have some pretty significant scars on my non-dominant hand. Not all of them are from cutting tissue and having something slippery get loose, but several of the scars are.

It made me realize something. Many of the wounds we carry on our skin were accidentally self-inflicted, and sometimes with the best of intentions. But they are wounds just the same, and the scars become a reminder that in this world, this happens a lot. In the case of this article, it's a reminder that anyone who cuts tissue for a living WILL wound him/herself. Period.

Wounds--all wounds, whether accidental, self-inflicted, or inflicted by others, give us pause.

I have spent much of my adult life around people in the "healing professions." I know a ton of folks not just in medicine, but in social work, church work, rehab work, etc. The titer of "wounded healers" is incredibly high in all of them. It could even be our wounds that drive us to those professions. What's odd is we are there, and we most likely will also not only bring our old wounds with us, but experience new wounds in our various professions, and often, remain in those professions anyway...or switch to a different healing profession. We rarely leave "a life of healing" totally behind. Sure, sometimes people leave and go a totally different direction--if they do it often is to become money driven almost to the point of being mercenary about it--kind of a full reverse of sorts--but mostly we remain healers of one sort or another.

We spill our own blood in various forms of self-sacrifice in the hope that others can be reconciled, and in the hopes we are reconciled to higher things. We find our own healing in the stories of others' healing that they share. Life sure has a tendency to mimic the Eucharist, doesn't it? Perhaps the old saw of "imitation being the sincerest form of flattery" holds true there.

But the fact remains that wounded "wounded healers" lose their power, and healthy "wounded healers" gain power.

Part of that health for us is to recognize what we are imitating. It's interesting to note that every time I hear the above words in Eucharistic Prayer C, I silently think about Christ's wounds and my wounds mixing together like ingredients in the bread and wine. I think about them being transformed from sickness and pain into food and drink. Something that gets in the way of life becomes not just something to sustain life but to renew life, and not just my life, not just the lives of people I touch, but life I scarcely know about.

That is simply an awe-filled level of healing, and it makes me realize that the world runs on an army of wounded healers. We have a choice every day to be a "wounded" wounded healer and opt out, or be a "healthy" wounded healer and opt in. It is our choice.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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