“Making one’s own wounds a source of healing, therefore, does not call for a sharing of superficial personal pains but for a constant willingness to see one’s own pain and suffering as rising from the depth of the human condition which all share.” — Henri J.M. Nouwen
“I believe that the community — in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures — is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in family or community or in a destroyed or poisoned ecosystem.” — Thomas Berry
This week I was doing some spring cleaning, and was surprised when I found my Doctor of Ministry project. After beginning coursework in Chicago in the early 1990s, I completed my D.Min. degree in 1996. It’s hard to believe it’s already been 20 years since then! (Side note — Instead of going to Chicago for the graduation ceremony, I found it much more meaningful to take my dad to New Mexico for the first Men’s Retreat led by Richard Rohr at Ghost Ranch.)
I began the paper with quotes by Henri Nouwen and Thomas Berry that I include with the blog today.
In ways, the theme of my D.Min. project is coming back in fresh, meaningful, and exciting ways. As it reflects a sense of lifelong calling, beginning with my experience as a cancer patient at St. Jude in 1970, it has been resurrected and has a life of its own.
The title of it was (and still is) “Hearing and Telling the Stories of Healing,” and helps frame some of the many ways we help one another find healing and wholeness beneath the brokenness in our lives . . . even through relationships in life beyond death.
More on that later, but for now I want to invite you to an event that relates directly to this calling. To anyone who has experienced a sense of challenge and even brokenness through struggles with cancer, you are welcome to join us next Tuesday night at Cancer Care Services (on Henderson St. near Trimble Tech) for the last “Mind, Body, Spirit Connection” Dinner of the season. This is not just for cancer patients, but family, friends, and health care workers. For I believe Wendell Berry is right when he says the whole community is the smallest unit of health and healing.
AND . . . wait for it . . . Elizabeth Wills will be joining us to sing some of her healing, soulful songs!
YES! AND it’s free! Just go to this link with more info and how to reserve your place.
Or call 817/921-0653.
Also — As a spiritual practice of prayerfully reviewing past writings, I discovered these blogs yesterday from last year that speak with fresh meaning and possibility to the here and now (or is that “hear and now?”) 😉
Blessings on your sacred journey as we move into and through the summer season.