Road to Healing – Lenten Journey 2014
Art either talks to you or it doesn’t. When I walk past a gallery, curiosity is the first lure that gets me to glance at the work in the window. And then, there’s a quick assessment. Do I like what I see or not? I’m a sucker for the surrealists, so even a small Salvador Dali in the corner will get me to walk through the door. But once I’m in I’m pretty quick on deciding whether I’m going to spend some time looking at the pieces or not. My attention span is pretty short in general and even shorter when I don’t get the artwork. I know this is an age issue. When you’re younger you can find more time to look, evaluate and even pretend you understand some of the stuff. But at this point in my life, I know what I like and if I don’t, I don’t mean any disrespect but I just walk away. I’m usually not critical of the artwork, realizing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but on a few occasions I have mumbled under my breath a question or two about the validity of the work as “art.”
There is one gallery, though, that I have never been able to pass without stopping by for a look. I’d venture to say that many of you share my same experience. It happens every time I look out that large window that extends to the edge of my peripheral vision and captures the sunset. And though I’ve seen hundreds, perhaps thousands of sunsets, I never tire of casting a look and letting my imagination be pulled down the horizon as it marks the end of the day.
Sometimes I’m lucky, especially at the beach. Clouds will cover parts of the Sun, making for streamers that rise to the heavens. Other times it combines with the atmosphere to produce colors so unique and subtly different from the standard chart of colors. Have you ever noticed, you can never capture a sunset exactly on film or on canvas? You can come close to mimicking the colors, but never an exact copy. Each sunset is a beautiful combination of fire, clouds, atmosphere and the hand of God. Different shapes and diffusions decorate this artwork from the master of all eternity.
Each sunset points to the inevitable truth of our life, namely that time moves forward and we are called to value each moment in that movement. As the sun moves on its path below the horizon, we realize that the moment and the day will never come back. Enjoy the moment for what it is. And as your mind goes for the ride below the horizon your imagination is called upon to dream of tomorrow.
From the sunset we understand that the past is completely guaranteed. No question about it: it happened. The present is happening; you are given a chance to enjoy as brief as it may be. And the future? It’s completely and totally unknown. You can plan, work, sweat, toil and struggle for a bright future, but at some point you have to take it on faith that tomorrow will arrive and trust that you will be a part of it.
A healthy lifestyle has this basic trust component built into it. Without this trust, there is no life.
There is no guarantee that the Sun will rise tomorrow morning, but if each night you went to bed with the fear that it would not, you’d cease to function. Your time and energy would be consumed with unnecessary worry. Because the Sun has a strong track record, that is, every day of your life it has risen, and you have on good authority that it has done so for last several million years; you therefore assign a high level of trust to it. Not so with your illness though. Health – physical, emotional, mental – has let you down, so you’ve assigned a lower level of trustworthiness to it.
Today is the day to move trust in your health up a few notches. We trust that there will be new sunrise tomorrow morning and with that we put our head on the pillow. What does it take to believe the same about life? Part of the healing process is to believe and trust in yourself and the life that has been created around you. All around you is the fingerprint – the artwork – of God. Your only response to it is to trust that your life is adorned and decorated by God.
These past few weeks we have been on the Road to Healing and have tossed around many ideas. The lessons of each day are all predicated on trust. Just as a new sunrise tomorrow morning is unquestionable, so too the healthiness of your life must be trusted.
Here is a prayer of healing from the Armenian Church,
Lord our God, take away the pain and heal the sickness of your people. Grant them all complete health by the sign of your all-triumphant cross, by which you took away the frailty of the human race and condemned the adversary of our life and salvation. You are our life and salvation, O Merciful God. You alone are able to forgive sins and to drive pain and sickness out of us. And you know how to cure our afflictions. O Giver of good gifts, give your creatures the gift of your abundant mercy, each according to their needs. Let us always glorify and praise the all holy Trinity, Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
I look forward to meeting with you tomorrow as we continue on the Road to Healing.
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Photo: Sunset over San Francisco (c)2005 Fr. Vazken Movsesian
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