Daily Reflection
January 7th, 2005
Joan Lanahan
Chaplain, SPAHP, OT and PT Departments
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As I write this reflection, I am one of many dreaming of Christmas.  Christmas passes too quickly for many.  Our busyness is multiplied tenfold with Christmas shopping, gifts to wrap, so many parties, and lots of family.  After Christmas it is time to crash…or just relax.

There is a line in Luke 5:16:   “He often retired to deserted places to pray”;  talking of Jesus.  I’ll bet that Jesus today, after the busyness of an American Christmas, would go to a quiet retreat house on the ocean to re-collect himself.

Jesus’ life, as we read in the scriptures, was full of people and events.  The pace of his life would even exhaust an extrovert!  No wonder Jesus took himself away to have some solitude time.

Not all of us can take days, a week or more after  Christmas, or any busy season, to rest and pray.  Our lives are often as busy as Jesus’.  Hopefully, we’re listening and attending to pleas for help, as Jesus heard and responded to the leper.  Maybe we can’t cure or heal others, though some of us are healers.  We can all be attentive to others’ needs and ills.  We can accompany “the lepers” we meet in life.

This takes lots of energy, good compassionate care.  How do we replenish our energy, care for our own weariness?  We begin by acknowledging that we need to care for ourselves.  Then we decide how to do this.

Prayer is a good healing art.   When I am really “ministry pooped” I just sit in a window and watch the beauties of nature.  I let the birds’ song or bright blue sky or dancing trees or passing clouds relax my mind and heart.  Take time each day to meditate, allowing the breathe to grow deeper and longer, acknowledge God’s presence in my/your breath.

Nature heals many of us.  Just a walk, even in a chilly breeze, can refresh the soul.  When I jogged I just loved to work up a sweat.  Being outside and smelling fresh air can clear the head.

We each have our own way to heal our tired hearts.  What is your way or ways?  What can you do now that will replenish your energy…so you can continue to be Jesus in your world?

Epiphany, the feast of recognition of God alive in our world, is close to today.  Emmanuel, God with us!

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