What About Physical Health?

A NEW SERIES: Well Being! – # ONE:
Well Being flows out to us and from us from several sources! This series will be addressing those sources. Coming first: Following are excerpts from Dr. Lynn Japinga’s Sunday, April 9 sermon:

Even if we try not to think and read about it all the time, I wonder how much anxiety has taken root in our bodies. Headaches, stiff necks, sore backs, angry stomachs. Or perhaps the anxiety has us operating at a kind of high alert all the time. Sometimes it feels like there’s so much boiling inside that we might explode into pieces.

Ezekiel spoke to people who carried a lot of grief-bacon. ( A literal translation of a German word for anxiety: kummerspeck!) The Israelites had been forced out of their land and were living in exile. For them, everything had exploded into pieces. “Our bones are dried up,” they said.

The body knows how much grief bacon we are carrying.

The body, life, and flesh are good and valued! That’s good news for us too. The body has NOT always been valued. Sometimes we’ve been told in the church that sex is bad, desire is bad, the flesh is bad. But if God values the body enough to put flesh on those dry bones, and if God values the body enough to become flesh in Jesus, we have our basis.

I wonder if one way to get through the grief-bacon, the dry bones, the disillusion and despair that we feel, is by nurturing the simple pleasures of the flesh. It is the body that anchors us. How do we care for it?

What if we turned off the television news and listened to music instead? What if we quit reading so many news articles and read a novel? What if we volunteered to play with children, or used our bodies to care for someone else? What if we took more time for friendship? If we enjoyed the pleasure of two bodies walking together or sharing a meal together.

Why do this? Some people might say it is selfish, or naïve, or a waste of time in the midst of so much craziness. But God so often gives grace and healing through our bodies. Seeing a beautiful sunset. Hearing a child’s voice. The smell of coffee brewing. The feel of exercise. A hug.

We do have the power to care for our own flesh and the flesh of others. That isn’t just new agey self-help talking. I think that God does a lot of healing through our actions. We can decide to put those sheets in the washer. We can decide to cook a good meal. We can get exercise. We don’t have to wait.

We can be God’s breath blowing wherever we live. We can bring grace to other people, and to ourselves. We can be kind to other people and ourselves. We can value the flesh, by feeding it, caring for it, treating it well. We can look for the beauty in the world, and be grateful when we see it.

~Excerpted from Dr. Lynn Japinga’s April 9 sermon

~Earl Laman, Health Ministry Member