O God, Where art Thou?

Do not disdain your body
for the soul is just as safe
in its body as in the
kingdom of God.

-Mechtilde of Magdeburg

But what do you do if you were violated, abused, raped? Trampled on, reduced to trash, betrayed, emotionally and psychologically murdered?

Such is the challenge of this children's hospital chaplain who bought my book and wrote me for help with her 'kids'? Her clientele are adolescents, mostly girls, who were abused. She wanted body prayer poses for her kids but with some warning. She said her kids can not and will not do poses that exposes the chest, that pushes the pelvis forward, that sticks the tail out, that makes them squat, that asks them to lay down either on their backs or on their tummies.

Just imagine moving within that prison cell. If you can call that movement. It is an emotional and psychological straight jacket. It is like being held back by an invisible electric fence. Venture out, and it will be hell. Stay inside, and it is hell. Imagine living like that.

How about you? What are you afraid of? What past experience holds you back from freedom, from dancing out of sync, from singing out of tune? What makes you cry?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me,
from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
And by night, but find no rest.
But I am a worm, and not human;
scorned by others, and despised by the people.
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
- from Psalm 22 (NRSV)


Rebecca Johnson said...

So interesting that you should ask what I am afraid of. I found myself aware of a lot of fears while on vacation in Mexico. Most of it seemed to revolve around water, especially the ocean, and wild animals. I just don't know what they are thinking. Are they getting ready to pounce at any moment or are they completely uninterested in me? I didn't want to be afraid, but I couldn't talk myself out of it.

I find the poem at the top interesting. In many ways, the souls of the poor children that you are talking about above were not safe. As much as the bodies of these children were violated, it seems that were souls were even more so. So painful.

Had a lovely time today at our first meeting using Praying with the Body. A lovely time lead by lovely women. I said a bunch of good things about you.
: )

Roy said...

Thanks, Rebecca. Ahhh. The ocean. It's hugeness, its unpredictability, the mystery in its depths represent for me the Almighty and the Compassionate One. As huge and as powerful it is, it is humble in its lowest elevation, thereby receiving and never rejects all rivers... whether polluted, dirty, toxic, or clean, pure, pristine.

May those hurt children find compassion and acceptance especially from within themselves.