Wednesday, March 16, 2011

atrophy

i have a friend, she writes beautiful words. some of her recent words read like a script in my head. these are the lines i've spoken, the dance i've done.

since an injury last summer, i haven't been as active as i would have liked. i can feel that my body has gotten softer, changed shape. my clothes don't fit. what i see in the mirror doesn't match the body in my head, i feel like i don't belong in my own skin. i can see evidence in places where muscle definition used to exist, but what's there now seems unfamiliar. the landscape has changed, and i don't know where i am.

workouts are harder, leave me stiff and sore for days. i am remembering what this feels like, relearning how to move, how to stand, how to breathe. i am surprised to find myself slower, weaker, less flexible.

i get the same feeling when i haven't been in the Bible as much as i would like. i forget things, i lose focus. like He calls my name, reaches for me, but His hand only barely brushes my sleeve as i breeze through the door. later on, i wonder why He didn't fight harder for me. i accuse Him, i shift the blame. but He was always in pursuit; i was the one who got distracted, who turned and walked away.

now, back in that wonderful book, i am starting to recognize some things. the words sound familiar, their message feels like nourishment to brittle bones, sore muscles, a weak heart. i see signposts everywhere--my handwriting in the margins, well-worn pages, notes from friends, evidences that i once knew this place. i lived here once, this was my home. it doesn't feel like that yet, it still seems new, but already it feels so much better than where i've been. like the softness of your own sheets after a long week away.

Paul says "I beat my body, and make it a slave, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." it's a picture of discipline so purposeful, so complete. a subtle warning against laziness and apathy, a reminder to keep our eyes fixed on the goal. to run with purpose. to persevere.

6 comments:

ifonlytheywouldnap said...

beautiful and oh-so-true, my friend.
jess

The Goodfellas said...
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The Goodfellas said...

hey.
1. thanks for the link - i actually blushed. haha.
2. i love that your take on that verse is so different and yet so dead-on. you know what? a day before i finished writing this, another friend of mine wrote on the same passage. and laurie said she's been thinking about it too (did you see her line about "faith in God rather than faith in faith"? i loved that.) what a blessing it is to have friends to walk alongside, friends who set the pace and remind me where the road is.
if only you all lived closer. :)

erin said...

i'm continually amazed by how He reveals so many wonderful things through folks like you. <3

rolli grove said...
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rolli grove said...

I read your post a few days ago, together both of you were like a one-two punch, just in time for a randomly terrible week. I was continuously reminded every time I went for a run, actually.

(Maybe it wasn't randomly awful because I suddenly saw I'd been boxing all along and didn't even know I was in a ring. I now see what kind of ring I'm in and my enemy sends the most terrifying images, but I'm fighting not by my own strength.)

I feel so encouraged and a twinge of the happiness that makes you warm and feel a bit helpless that the people you'd like to hug aren't in reach.

with love,
One Who Tripped Continuously This Week
(maybe it wasn't so much a one-two punch as two helping hands up)