Understand

Seren got a splinter in his foot yesterday (thanks to my thoughtlessly allowing him on the deck barefoot). He wouldn’t let us get near it, much less take it out. Right then he didn’t understand anything but the terror of having his foot grasped, pinched and probed. But this morning in his mellow time with Mommy, Jean quietly showed him the wood sliver, asked if she could take it out, he whispered his yah, and her tweezers gently performed the extraction.

“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” So said Jesus. “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Yet after Jesus told him, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me,” Peter did an about-face: “Then, Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Understanding is a multi-layered process. After washing his disciples’ feet Jesus asked them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Up until two weeks ago Seren barely tolerated his baths.  Now after some patient, gentle, playful times with the teenage babysitter, he eagerly sheds his clothes, reaches for the water, fills and pours cups, plays happily by himself.

I’m glad Jesus, the Word made flesh, helped us understand at a bodily level–in baptism, foot-washing, healing touches. And all over the world today the Body of Christ, Jesus’ followers build wholistic understanding.

Since January, yoga practice has deepened my awareness and understanding of whole body prayer. More recently I’m beginning to branch out into liturgical dance, reading Dance — the Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as a Spiritual Practice, putting music on and doing simple exercises from the book, hoping to attend a workshop in July.

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