Sunday, February 21, 2010


"Imagine your body is in a field and though your eyes are closed, you can see the sunlight through your eyelids and feel the warmth on your face. You feel relaxed yet remain distantly aware of the problems in your life. Imagine the people who bother you, the tasks that are tedious, the bosses who think you should try harder as dandelions, their seeds white and fluffy in your field. Your breath is the wind and as you exhale, you blow away the fluffy seeds, leaving the dandelions naked and harmless. Insignificant, they begin to escape your attention as you realize you are calm and loved and in control."

I focused on my breathing as my massage therapist led me gently through a brief meditation. I saw the field and myself lying in it. I blew away the seeds while focusing on my respiratory pattern. I wasn't angry as I pictured them drifting away on the breeze of my breath - just pleased they were moving from me as I winced at the discomfort of the deep tissue work and breathed deeply when reminded.

"It is not a physical battle," said the pastor at a new church I tried. I smiled when I walked in - finding the curved pews clad in green cushions and the plain windows that let in the light appealing. I'd also approved of the website - podcasts of sermons and ample information to make me feel comfortable enough to visit. "The kingdom of darkness," he preached, "is already defeated but has not died. Since it cannot strike out at Christ, Satan and his minions seek to harm us. They make us feel weak and unloved, forsaken and in constant despair. We worry and fear - our thoughts race as we try to get more money or recognition or satisfaction. And we are distracted from God, His love for us and our purpose for being here."

I breathed then too, clutching the Bible to my chest as we sang and prayed and learned.

I grow weary of being a source of sadness and pain. So as I read, preparing myself for worship, I lingered on the lines in Ephesians 5 that read "Awake, O Sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine upon you."

And I said to God exactly what I said to my therapist when she reminded me to breathe.

"I'm trying."

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