Healing and trust go together. Sometimes it's hard to imagine trusting anyone or anything any more, but I really had to trust. I approached last night thinking that my first few days on my Camino were imperiled. I have a foot that aches, and now a fever and cold.
But everyone was praying for me. With that kind of love, I felt like I could go to sleep with the rest of trusting in God and everyone's prayers.
The fever broke last night. Now it's not in the league of miracles that have been documented here in Lourdes. But I was thrilled. Thrilled ... and not surprised. Thrilled because I knew I could rest assured last night, and not surprised because I felt warmed by the blanket of love surrounding me.
And that trust blossoms. Take the cold I had when I recorded this video. It shows last night's procession of lights on a time lapse. The 30 second video was over the span of an hour and you can see sunset turning into dusk. During that time I thought I was going to give in and have to take a cab. But the procession itself strengthened me, for seeing the wheelchairs gave me resolve.
When I awoke today, I felt different and not just because the fever broke. I felt excited but calm. I went straight to the piscine (bath) where, in a baptism-like practice, we are given the chance to pray then be immersed in the Lourdes water. Now no denying it: that water was cold. And someone online suggested that the cold broke my fever, though I knew the fever was gone earlier. But like she suggested, the cold water wasn't bad. It was invigorating. It enlivened me. And most of all, it felt liberating.
I met up with JJ, a friend of Carminnie back home. We met to eat dinner and drink at a local Filipino place that I had seen yesterday. He has done all and parts of the Camino several times so it's natural that we were brought together. His work here at the basilica has been deep and I'm grateful for this new friendship.
At tonight's procession, when it came time for Hail Mary to be said aloud in English, I found myself doing something I never considered. As I led the prayer with its song song rhythm - identical in most languages - I oddly found myself comfortable , as though this made sense for me to stand there in the dark, my voice leading prayer.
And yet it wasn't healing. It didn't feel like healing. You know what felt like healing? Healing is when the pharmacist wished me Buen Camino for throat lozenges that I didn't actually use. Or when the Italian attendant at the piscine said the same thing to me.
Healing was leaving some of Tim's ashes near the grotto, on the path that Bernadette Soubirous took to see Mary and discover the healing waters of Lourdes. I prayed for the healing he always sought but cancer cut short. And I prayed for the family. That felt like healing. And the healing was when Tim's younger brother Stephen - my Stephen - texted that he got teary eyed by my text and the photo.
Healing is going through the day resting as much as possible even though I felt fine today. I would go to services and then return to rest. It felt good. I felt the power of life more strongly as I sat or lay resting in sleep, in prayer, in thought.
I leave tomorrow at sunrise on a pilgrimage of reconciliation and healing. Your words have opened my eyes and heart so much already. Lourdes has been a marvelous place, a trusting place, a miraculous place, to find some healing. May we taste the waters of Lourdes in all our lives.
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