Love goes to work: Miracles in the midst of dying

Healing is about more than a well-functioning body. As important as it is, an individual, functioning body is only the visible tip of the much deeper phenomenon of health. The full realization of health encompasses bodies, souls, and the relationships that join us to communities and places. In order to appreciate these far-reaching dimensions of health, we must attend to the heart—the animating core of our lives.

When our hearts are wounded or sick, we’re tempted to turn inward and away from others. We build protective walls to keep the pain away. We become dis-eased, ill-at-ease, and unable to be with others in a harmonious way. We find ourselves fragmented and alone. When we’re sick, the relationships that would normally inspire and nurture us are broken, and the avenues of mutual care and delight are cut off.

To be healthy is to be able to move freely, sympathetically, and shamelessly among others. We experience the conviviality that is possible in a shared life. Put another way, when we’re healthy, the relationships that join us to communities and neighborhoods are life-giving and strong. We receive blessings with gratitude and generously offer help to others.