I’ve been going to see the same Physio for over four years now and almost every time I see him I walk out feeling better – hopeful and with a lighter step – not necessarily because he has ‘fixed’ me.
Ever since the ‘running debacle’ back in July I have struggled with painful knees and more recently with them making a mild crunching sound as I bend. Scary… they sound like a twig being bent almost to snapping but then released.
And then over the last two months as retic work has fired up my hands and fingers have begun to ache, my forearms are telling me a story and my back is chipping in with his own complaints. Its that time of year, but 10 years into this form of work and I know my body is being worked harder than it should be.
So last Friday I went to see Damian. I’d been to the Doc who was quite nice, but whose advice was simply to take some anti-inflammatories and slow down (next patient please). I wasn’t satisfied. I still felt concerned and anxious about the state of my body and the potential damage I was doing.
So I chat to Damian about my knees and explain the problem.
‘No – not really – none really…’
‘Nothing to worry about!’
‘Really?… It sounds bad. Will the noise go away?’ I am concerned at his lack of concern.
‘No – it will get louder – but if there is no pain then you don’t need to worry. It’s just like creaky suspension’ he says.
‘Ok..’ I say, digesting this info. And my hands?’
‘They’re just adjusting to the new pace of life. Nothing to worry about there either. Keep working and they will get used to it.’ (Read – ‘toughen up princess…’)
‘And what about my back?’
I explain that it’s been spasming for a few months and even though I’ve stretched it every day it hasn’t stopped.
‘Ok – let’s stick some needles in you and free that up. If it isn’t better in 48 hrs come back and we will repeat the procedure.’ And so my acupuncture loving physio gets to crack open his needle box and turn me into a human pin cushion.
I write this seven days later after 3 x 11 hour retic days with over 30 different service jobs and my back definitely feels better, my hands are also better (not perfect), and I’m no longer worried about my knees.
I have realised that I don’t go to see Damian just for physical healing. I go for reassurance – to hear someone tell me that despite what I feel about myself I’m going to be ok. Or – if I’m not going to be ok to hear the truth and how I can be fixed.
And as I ponder that I am conscious of the power of reassurance and the truth that I bring to bear on the lives of those I connect with.
Some really need someone to remind them that God loves them… no matter what… no really… no matter what… that he never gives up and despite their failure he will stay with them. More than that he will love them.
That simple but profound truth sits so often beyond our comprehension and we live in constant dread of ‘what may happen’.
Some need to know ‘despite what you feel it’s all going to be ok.’ Our feelings are notoriously deceptive. As Damian told me not to worry about my knees my anxiety lifted. ‘Really?…’ I asked in disbelief.
‘Really.’ he said. There was no ambiguity in his tone.
He has also told me when I’m doing something stupid or that is going to make pain worse. And I have listened and obeyed.
In the same way some people need to hear the truth – to be told their life is headed for disaster if they keep on the track they are on. Its not ‘judgement’ to do that. Its love and wisdom being given.
My hope is to get at least another 8 years of physical labour out of this body. That’ll make me 60 and almost of an age when I should slow down.
As I left the consulting room the other day I was conscious of my spirits lifting, of my load lightening and my hope that I could keep working being restored. Most of us are ‘bad Christians’ at best and barely Christian at our worst and constantly in desperate need of the knowledge that God doesn’t just tolerate us because he has to – but he loves us more than we can ever know.
Maybe you need to know that now – its true.
Or maybe you know it – and you just need to remind someone else whose heart is heavy and spirit depleted.
Reassurance… its powerful… but its something we can’t do for ourselves.