Faith on Friday: Women Who Heal



On my way home from my 7:45 a.m. physical therapy appointment this morning, I began to think about what I might write for today’s post. I was feeling dry, spiritually, but full of hope and encouragement, physically and emotionally, after my first PT session since I began weight-bearing on my foot. I really like my physical therapist, Pritha, a lot. She’s from India, and she has a calm but strong way of healing. I’ve grown to trust her as she stretches my foot and flexes my ankle, and leads me through strengthening exercises. I’m sure she would be embarrassed by the comparison, but I can’t help but think of Mother Theresa and how many lives she touched with her healing hands.

And just three days ago, my wonderful massage therapist, Tammy Shouse, laid her healing hands on my wounded body for the first time in over three months. I had to wait for the neurosurgeon to say it was okay for her to work on me, which he finally did, last week. Like Pritha, she is both calm and strong, and I trust her to help heal my body.

Annie Dillard said:

Dedicate (donate, give all) your life to something larger than yourself and pleasure—to the largest thing you can: to God, to relieving suffering, to contributing to knowledge, to adding to literature, or something else. Happiness lies this way, and it beats pleasure hollow.

While I hope to do this by my meager offerings to literature–Madeleine L’Engle said “We all feed the lake.”–women (and men) in the healing professions have certainly been on my radar since my accident on July 7.

agia_zinais_kai_filonillaAnd so this morning it was a joy to read about the lives of two such healers who have been canonized as saints in the Orthodox Church: Saints Zenaida and Philonilla. I could tell you their story, but I think you would enjoy my friend, Alex Riggle’s, version better. Alex always adds just the right amount of humor to his posts over at The Onion Dome, and today’s post about Zenaida and Philonilla is a great read.

Physical and massage therapists. Physicians. The women (and men) who heal our bodies, the earthly homes of our souls. These are the saints (canonized or not) for whom I am thankful today.