I have lost five pounds. The cafeteria at camp the last two weeks was too far to walk to for breakfast. Lunch was not too enticing, ok, well dinner was not too enticing either, and there were numerous meals of unidentifiable meat products in some sort of gravy or slop. So I settled on fruit, more fruit, lots of water, and the occasional piece of whole grain bread until I could get into Santa Fe to have a proper meal.
Santa Fe and I are soul mates. The hippies. The homeless. The poets. The organic green. The tea houses. The renowned chefs. The mountains. The breeze. The ethnicity. The transients. The lovers. And the barefoot ladies in the park reading. The city plays out like a perfect novel, I had to pinch myself to remember it wasn't fiction. While the boys were at the movies, I spent my days wandering the streets and getting lost in art galleries, coffee shops, and little parks full of bright green grass where my feet fell in love with the earth. Note to family: Please sprinkle my ashes in Santa Fe.
I was reminded over the last two weeks that there are little things in our brain that shout to us, "STOP. DON'T DO THAT. YOU WILL HURT YOURSELF." Sometimes they do this by making something feel very unnatural to the body. That's what my friend Jeff said after we all took a ride down the zip line from the top of a small cliff. It's just not natural to strap yourself onto one rope and then fall forward off a cliff. Everything in your body is screaming...IDIOT, DON'T DO THAT!
This is the same voice I heard last Monday when I had to go to my first chiropractor. Trust me, this was traumatic. We had flown home to play at a festival in Dallas and were headed back up to finish our last week of camp in Glorieta, New Mexico when I turned my head and literally paralyzed my neck. You know me, I'm no drama queen (I am smiling mind you), but this took the cake for the worst pain in my life. I promptly wrote my family with the heading, "I am injured." No exclamation mark. No jokes. No car wreck or blood either, but seriously, I was injured, and I wanted the world to know.
Well, not really. I made it through my flight after taking two muscles relaxers and made it through two songs on stage before running off to throw up because it hurt so bad. Then I hid in my room for the rest of the night and the next day until I could go see a doctor. A chiropractor. Who I refuse to call doctor because they did not go to medical school. Does that mean he is a quack? No. But a full fledged doctor??? No way. He is the midwife of doctors.
Anyways, this guy pretended to be my friend at first by heating my injury and applying electric stimulation and then by giving me a deep tissue massage, which did not feel good at that point, because it hurt to touch it. And then as he lulled my head into his hands he said, "And now what we do is just...relax...that's right, let go...relax."
And without warning this little man literally took my little head in his hands and twisted it around behind my shoulders. I think I saw my own back. I think 20 bones cracked and broke. I think it was the grossest sound I have ever heard my body make. I think he elongated my body too. It was awful. And he continued his witchcraft on me for another ten minutes, popping bones, twisting my back, torturing me with muscle talk, all the while I am having a slight panic attack and sweating from my intense fear of this guy, until I finally sat up and realized...I can move my head. I can touch my neck without feeling like an ice pick is getting me. I am healed!!!
So he was a miracle worker. Big deal. It doesn't mean I have to like him. Because there is nothing natural about somebody taking your head and forcefully popping it out of place.
Finally, my last encounter with "unnatural" was accidentally ending up at a clothing optional spa. I am not even going to go there, except to say...I had clothes. I was in the girls only section. And my eyes have never stayed closed for so long in my entire life. If I was European I am sure I would have loved this naked surprise, but for a modest chic from the south...wow. Unnatural.
Really, Really Unnatural
Faith seems to be much the same way, unnatural sometimes. So does love. Healing. Forgiveness. Growth. Discipline. Relationships. Even prayer. These are not always our bodies and souls intuition. Forgive someone who has destroyed something I love? Not natural. Believe in something I cannot really see? Not natural. Love passionately without the reservations of being hurt? Not natural. Trust in someone besides myself? Not natural. Fall face forward off a cliff, have your neck snapped around by a "doctor," or lay around with a bunch of naked people???
Yet, Christ calls us to these things (the former not the latter).
If they were natural to us, they probably wouldn't be Holy, would they? And that's the point.
Be Holy for I am Holy. Not be Holy...because it comes naturally.