“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi
In my quest to become more physically fit, I decided to try jogging. Hearing the swish of tracksuits and seeing the psychedelic trail of rainbow-tinged sneakers following the trail of my grey concrete block every morning, teased my curiosity to a fever pitch. I just had to try it! Plus the perk of no membership dues and the pavement always being readily available, made temptation impossible to resist.
Before hitting the pavement, I did research. Keywords, like “jogging” and “running” turned up an abundance of informative websites devoted to these popular forms of exercise. I came across an app that would train me to jog 5K in 8 weeks. After downloading it into my iPod, I prepared for my jogging debut the next day.
My first jog was 20 minutes alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking. I completed it with no difficulty. The next week couldn’t come fast enough. Watching the sunrise and feeling the crisp dawn air cascade over my body was exhilarating. It wasn’t until the fourth week I began to experience difficulty. My knees became a little sore and after ice alongside rest, they recovered. So I thought.
Something terrible happened after my last run on the program. While stretching, my knees “clicked” loudly. My knees immediately became swollen and radiated with pain. I limped to the medicine cabinet took two painkillers, got an ice pack and went straight to bed. Gradually the pain increased until I couldn’t walk or stand for more than five minutes.
After missing mass for a week, the monsignor of my church called me to inquire about my absence. He told me he would keep me in prayer and to return once my health improved. Guilt propelled my week legs to the nearest drugstore to purchase a leg brace. While searching for a brace I encountered a large box of Whoopers on sale for a dollar. “These would make me feel better!” I thought to myself and placed them in my shopping cart and limped to the checkout line. While waiting for the bus, I ripped open the top of the Whoopers box and fed my anguish with sweet chocolate deliciousness.
Over the next few days, I would periodically pop the top for a “hit.” As the box became lighter in my hands, I examined the content to see how many chocolate pieces remained. To my surprise only seven remained. Shame pierced my heart, because I allowed my agony to get the best of me. The Whoopers didn’t relieve my sorrow and only provided a temporary fix to my emotional distress. I trashed the remaining pieces and vowed to attend mass the next day.
After mass the next day, my monsignor saw my tattered knees and told me he would speak to a chiropractor that was a member of the congregation. He told me to attend the early mass on Sunday. Sure enough the chiropractor was there. I knew this was divine intervention and my request for healing was granted. The chiropractor checked my knees and told me the meniscuses in both knees are inflamed. He agreed to treat me free of charge at his office. He was so generous that he even realigned my ankles at church. Humility and unworthiness struck my heart because I didn’t deserve such treatment.
Tuesday, I had my first rehab session. My knees feel remarkably better. For ten minutes I can stand without being overwhelmed with pain. My recovery process will take about a month. In gratitude I will follow the doctor’s orders and welcome God’s restorative powers. After completing my rehab sessions through the grace of God, I will walk again normally.
Why am I so confident about my recovery? My knees will work again because God revealed me the depths of His Divine Mercy. God was teaching me a lesson in patience and after repeated hints went ignored, He allowed me become fully aware of the damage I was causing my body. I don’t know if I will jog again, but from now on, God will be my personal trainer and not my ego.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. (Psalm 30:2-3)