In my last post, I wrote about how God cares about us as whole people, not disembodied souls. God’s plan for humanity is “thriving wholeness” or “shalom.” This thriving wholeness is for all of creation and community, and is dependent on the protection and care for the most vulnerable. In this post, I will zoom in from the big story of Jesus’ shalom, and share more personally how Jesus has been making me whole.
Mike and I have been trying to have a baby for thirty months now. This last cycle of hope and disappointment was the hardest. It was the first time we tried fertility treatment and, after several procedures and lots of side effects from meds, we learned the treatment was unsuccessful.
After we got the news we weren’t pregnant, I went to my spiritual director. She led me through a time of prayer, and I became aware that my body felt detached from itself. The fertility treatment process made me feel like all the parts of my body were in a relay race, sprinting all out, but the last runner (my womb) couldn’t do its part and lost the race for the whole team. I had failed myself.
In Romans 6, Paul describes our bodies as having the potential to be “weapons for justice and goodness.” He also says that the body wages war against itself. One part may want to do one thing and the other wants to do the opposite. Jesus makes us whole by reconciling those parts to each other, starting with the most vulnerable.
I needed Jesus to tend to the most vulnerable part of me — the part that felt like it had failed and was paralyzed to go further. I didn’t need Jesus to fix that part of me or correct me. I just needed Jesus to be with that part of me. So I sat with that part for a while. Like a mom holding her hurting child, I assured that part of me that I wasn’t going to leave it behind and that it was worth suffering for.
As that vulnerable part in me began to feel loved and worthy, its confidence grew. I left that prayer time feeling whole and motivated to go through the treatment process again.
How do you need Jesus to make you whole? What is a vulnerable part within you that feels detached from the rest of you? Take some time with Jesus to be with that part. Maybe put a hand on the part the hurts the most. Resist the urge to fix. Just listen: How does that part need loving affection? Is there anything else it wants to say to you?