There is nothing like a head cold to remind me of the blessing of good health. Each time I come down with one, I am once again taken by surprise at how awful I can feel. It makes the day-by-day recovery a minor miracle. The sinuses dry up, the body aches disappear, the ears unplug, and energy is restored. The whole process serves as a wake-up call around the simple joy of breathing.
Wellness and Spirituality
Suffering a cold is also a humbling experience. I feel abashed at how whiney I get over something that will pass in a few days’ time. Thinking of those in chronic physical or emotional pain or battling a progressive illness of the body or mind brings home the transience of my own discomfort. It also leads me to a deeper appreciation of the value of wellness.
Psalm 139 is, hands-down, my favorite. “I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!” (verse 14) One would expect that the psalmist wrote it while at the peak of health – all parts working, nothing sagging, bagging, or puckering. I find, however, that my appreciation for the psalm increases with age. The relief of being pain-free for just a moment, the ability to let go of slights and resentments a lot more quickly, the joy of learning something new just for the fun of it, and the deepened capacity for resting in God’s love – all of these are gifts that come with a bit of time and experience.
Over the past several years, we have come to a new appreciation of holistic health and the body/mind/heart and soul connection. This is something that seems to have been understood millennia ago, however. Take, for example, the greeting in 3John 1:2: “Beloved, I hope you are prospering in every respect and are in good health, just as your soul is prospering.” Wellness is a promise of the best kind of prosperity. It aligns everything in us, no matter our age or state in life, and helps us fully appreciate how wondrously we are made!
Many of the saints cared for those who were sick and suffering. One example of this is the Peruvian saint, Martin de Porres. Read about his life and work and download activities to share with those in your home or parish.
Download my Prayer for Wellness and share it with your students or family to help promote an appreciation for being wonderfully made in God’s image and likeness.