The Comparison Between God & Massages

I have a history of getting addicted to massage therapy. It’s amazing what you can get for free when you tell the masseur you have cerebral palsy. They get all experiment-crazy and decide they’ll be the next massage-guru to cure you. They won’t, but what the heck, it’s a blasted massage. Experiment all you want, honey.

I really didn’t think I’d get much out of a hot rock massage. I thought I’d walk away smelling like incense (not something I’m ecstatic about, I assure you), possibly have some bruises, and be able to claim that I finally took a nap. I got the smells, the bruises, but no nap. The guy talked my ear off. I’m a chatty person, but seriously, massages are meant to immediately induce naps– not keep the victim (uh, I mean client) awake with lame jokes, weird glimpses into times gone by, etc etc.

But, I digress. (Nothing new.) He really did have some good ideas. At one point, he continually put pressure on one portion of my gluteus maximus and was mumbling, “ohhhh, okaaaaay.” Guys! Typically, even if you’re prodding someone like myself who made a living out of getting poked and prodded, saying that while poking a woman’s butt?! Not. A. Good. Idea. I repeat. No.

I think I went rigid enough to make him realize he needed to start talking to the living body in front of him. He finally explained. Apparently, the tenderness and tightness in my butt (I can’t believe I just blushed typing that. Pull it together, Chick. It’s a butt. Butt. Butt. Butt. Get over it) was due to some pulled muscle in my foot, which effected my hip, which effected the muscle in my butt, and all of that threw out my back. To make it even worse all of that caused migraines. Who knew? Oooooh. Okaaaay.

I walked away amused, sarcastic, analytical and incredibly relaxed. And then my brain went into overdrive. It’s not supposed to do that on vacation.

All of my pain – according to this masseuse -was because of the “newer” pain in my foot. But the pain was felt quite clearly all the way up through my neck. Isn’t it funny that that same phenomenon occurs within the Body of Christ?

Think about it. We pass on phrases like, “I’ll laugh as you laugh” “I’ll weep when you weep” with those we fellowship with through the unity found in Christ’s gift of salvation. Yet have we ever stopped to ponder how one person’s wound, concern or heartache effects those around us? Have we ever experienced how our one “pain” can infiltrate and change an entire Church Body (not 4 walls and a roof, by the way) and how it operates?

Huh. Weird, no? Also, a completely incomplete thought because I don’t think it should ever end. But holy smokes- who knew God could show up through hot rocks and a massage bed?

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Christ’s song, my life, my memory

Although the following article was written originally for someone else’s benefit- it resonates deeply with how I view this holiday in particular. Yes, I’m ecstatic about the family I love and how God has blessed me in different ways.. But Christmas is a challenge for me. In Christianity, we celebrate the Christ’s arrival during Christmas. Though I joyfully join in that celebration, Christmas reminds me of what it was like to actually behold my Savior when I was an epileptic.

Once upon a time, I was convinced my epilepsy would take me Home to my Savior. The few times I can remember touching Christ’s face during a seizure, hearing Him sing, or feeling Him rock me to sleep made Christmas mean something different. Those memories will always feel like they were just yesterday, but I long for the day where literally hearing Him sing over me is a reality again.

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There are several different times I can think of God “holding” me. But there are a few that have never escaped the forefront of my mind. One of those times only lasted but a minute. The sensation was brought on by an epileptic outbreak and so many people believed that it wasn’t real. Regardless of whether my explanation of what I felt sounds logical, the peace I felt was not a hallucination. I was being held. I heard Him speak.

The seizure had been lasting hours. During every seizure, most epileptics are asked to state three things; their name, the date and their location. After almost two hours of kicking and screaming, I found myself in a place where I could form words- but that was it. I was cognizant enough to remember I needed to know my name- but I couldn’t.

I remember mentally “coming to” enough to realize I had somehow landed myself on all fours, hunched over my mother’s bed.
Hey! I thought You know this is a bed. What’s your name? Come on, What’s your name? Just say your name and you’ll be free. What’s… Your.. Name! The stress of the unknown threw me even deeper into the seizure. I was terrified.

Still drowning in the unknown dimension between my broken mind and reality, I screamed over and over, “Just tell me my name! Tell me my name! I need to know my name! What is my name?” My mother was a foot behind me, but couldn’t speak out of the fear that touching me would make the seizure worse. My question would go unanswered. A part of me felt as if I’d never know my name again.

The majority of epileptics I know speak of a mental “switch” of sorts where they’re just begging to get “turned off”. The pain is too great, they’re too scared, or the battle has been fought too long. Whatever the reason, they want to let go. I was at that point. Something had taken over my body, held me captive and then kept me alive to torture me. I wanted to die. I was so ready to go Home. But then.. I heard Him.

“I call you Child. You’re my Child. You don’t need a name. You’re mine. Listen to me, Beloved. You’re mine.”

Instantly, peace superseded the seizure. My body was still tense, but my breathing normalized. I felt arms around my shoulders, and I heard Him sing to me the only song I’ve ever truly understood. As I heard Him sing, I kept mumbling, “I am a Child of God. I am a Child of God. I am a child of God.”

He sang His song several times. After listening to Him sing, my memory returned just as quickly as it had left. My name? Cassie. My age? 14. But all the sudden, that didn’t seem to matter anymore. God had held me and calmed my fear before answering my question. His song still resonates in my mind:

I know your name
I know your every thought
I see each tear that falls
and I hear you when you call
Child, I hear you when you call

I don’t remember God singing to me again after that. But the reminder that my God loves me enough to hold me when no one else can is constantly being brought to mind. The truth that He knows me better than I know myself and sees me when I can’t function enough to see Him still humbles me. He knows me. He holds me. He sings to me. The Prince of Peace is mine.