"...One of them, an expert in the Law, tested Him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:35-40
The further we go in 7 of 8's therapy experience, the more we are learning. I've been reflecting this week in particular on the impact the neonatal stroke has had on the structure and function of her left shoulder, arm and hand. Her scapula (shoulder blade) is too loose because the muscles designed to hold it in place are rigid and pulling it from position. Her hand is weak because the scapula is compromised.
We work on awakening her brain to rewire her arm by working from distal to proximal, meaning that I run my fingers up her arm. I take different texture objects and move them from her hand to her shoulder so that her brain can begin to sense the different consistencies. Conversely, while working on releasing the tightness on the muscles near her shoulder, we work proximal to distal, massaging and stretching the muscles in a motion from her shoulder down, all the while holding her scapula in place.
The structure around my faith can get bunched up. I can lose sensitivity and function in the way I am reaching out to others when rigidity and rules and regulations begin to take the place of simply loving God. I get bunched up when the discomfort of His efforts to stretch me are met with resistance and howling on my part. The bones of my faith, the very structure of belief, is dragged into wrong postures when I allow what should be a motion of faith to instead become a rigid ligament.
How do I get down so many bunny trails on the journey? Perhaps it is because I lose sight of the greatest commandment and then the second. Am I loving God with all my heart, soul and mind? Stretch, reach, grasp. Am I loving my neighbor, taking a moment to smile, to say hello, to offer help, to be willing to feel the different textures of their lives, to awaken my mind to the needs and compositions of the lives around me? What if I just focused on these things for a while, loving God, loving my neighbor? What if I didn't worry about getting everyone else straightened out until I had mastered these two commands? What if I simply allow God to stretch what is tense, remind me of where the structure is to be, to allow Him to show me again that faith is received with an open hand, not a clenched fist. What if?