Category Archives: Body

When the weak become strong we win

Play to your strengths, we say, because that’s how you win.

It’ll win you games, earn you accolades, get you noticed, selected and promoted. And if you can get your opponent to play to your strengths, then you’re golden.

Temporarily. Because favoriting tends to make us lopsided. Have you noticed this, too? When I play to my strong side, my weak side gets left out. Over time, as my strengths get stronger my weaknesses get worse and I have limited my own arsenal. Pretty soon, so my opponent doesn’t discover my weaknesses, I learn to hide them or disguise them in order to diminish their impact.

Unfortunately, the lopsided condition and our self-imposed limitations also leave us prone to injury. Inevitably, we sprain, strain, twist, tear, break or full-on dislocate something. If we’re lucky, after taking time off or perhaps spending some time in repair and/or rehab, we make a come back.

Except now there are left-overs, losses we hope aren’t permanent. Things just don’t feel the same and our bodies know it. They do what they’re used to doing; they compensate. The strong side picks up the slack while the weak side tags along for the ride. It has to — because it’s attached (!) — usually at the expense of form and function, always at the expense of full performance.

Yep. Going with whatever works rather than working on what’s holding us back limits us in the long run. Eventually, there’ll be a painful tip to our stride that’ll only get worse with time. Unless…

… we switch our loyalties and favor our weak side. Humbling though that is. As far behind as that makes us fall. As uncoordinated as that makes us feel. It requires more effort, more intention, more dedication, more practice. It may make us feel like a beginner all over again, but it’ll pay off in the long run because we’re gonna need every part of this whole miraculous body of ours to power us to life’s finish line.

What a race we could run if we stopped playing only to our strengths and gave our weaker parts the respect they deserve. What good advice we’ve been given:

Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. .. God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 

from 1 Corinthians 12: 22-25

Love Opens

Love opens
courage steps
harm threatens
danger waits.

Love opens
timid stays
winds blow
through and through.

Unlove
stands in the way that it does;
preying on timid
obstructing, obscuring,
swirling, gusting.   

Love 
moves the way that it can;
creating chances
opening options
softening, seasoning. 

Love opens
minds and hearts, 
doors and windows.
Clearing channels of communication
finding its way.

Love opens
onto a way
of saying 
what needs saying.

Love builds 
by invisible hands
which craft and construct,
mend and heal.

Love dreams --
real as any 
hard fact so we wait,
we hope.

Love imagines
what can happen
when soul by soul
together we pray.

Where unlove 
shouts, "Make way!"

Love makes a way
where there was no way

so good can go about its business
turning knobs and
carrying brides across 
thresholds.

Behold

There's a space for the love of God 
to fill me when I open up;
empty lungs want air
parched mouth wants drink
panging stomach wants food
the seeking soul opens for sustenance,
moment by moment.

Me me Me me Me me 
the baby birds cry, 
asserting themselves.
fill me. feed me. pick me.

Love does

Creative Juices

Where do creative juices come from?

This is my question as I plod along a very familiar path. Foot by ever-loving foot, sneaker meets pavement. The feet move slower than molasses but the brain is another story. Literally.

My brain whirrs with ideas, putting things together that I never thought knew each other. Suggesting solutions. Sketching plot. Outlining. Organizing. Energizing. What had no life when I stepped out the door now seems like the best idea ever. Strategy meeting serendipity all along my way.

If this only happened once, I’d dismiss it as lucky and be on my way. But it always happens. It’s as reliable as the sunrise and as remarkable as stumbling on an old friend you haven’t seen in 30 years. It emerges out of nowhere, but yet it doesn’t. And the odd thing, and this honestly seems unfair, is that calling it up is entirely within my control — even as it has a mind of its own.

This creative swirl waits for me … to let it. To let it in. To let it happen. To let it dance and sing and have its way with me. All I have to do is move. To take this old body out for a spin and see what shows up.

No equation for success here. No requirement of “this many minutes before the endorphins kick in.” No exclusion clause stating “only works after six weeks,” or “must be fit to apply.” No, this is not an exercise device; this is a bodily device. A gift my body gives me when I love it enough to take it out of the box and play with it for a while.

It plays back. And we have a fine time. Let’s do this again, we say, and then we do. And whatever I’ve brought with me sorts itself out. Creatively, with all the juicy parts included.

So juicy, in fact, I run for pen and paper the minute I hit the door. Don’t even bother finding my reading glasses, I’m in such a hurry to get things in writing before they disappear into the distraction of the rest of my day. If my scribbles are a bit hard to decipher later, well, that’s part of the puzzle of fun, too.

If you’re ready to let your creative juices flow or maybe give ’em a bit of a kick start, my book, Made to Move: Loving God through our Bodies will give you 6 weeks of mind and body activities to get you going. (Find it with practice videos here Upper Room Books or here on Amazon.)

It’s NOT an exercise book. It’s a movement opportunity. See you along the path!

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