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Get well soon

Meg Mirshak | Thursday, February 17, 2011

It is mid-February, and I do not need to tell you it has been a cold, snowy winter. No matter if you played snow football or curled up on your futon with hot chocolate, chances are your immune system is weakening.

I spent the past weekend drinking liters of Powerade, eating multiple bowls of soup and taking doses of ibuprofen for a sore throat among other ailments. Sunday seemed to be the turning point when I woke refreshed with less aches and pains. But it was too good to be true, as Monday brought a new round of sneezes and runny noses.

As I stared down a busy week on my calendar, I felt overwhelmed. Colds are impossible to beat with long days and little rest. I could easily take a sick day from work, and my coworkers would greatly encourage me to stay at home.

Yeah, right. The absolute last thing I can imagine doing when my calendar is jam packed would be taking a day off to sleep. How will the work get done?

Many of you right now have the flu or common cold. For those of you without a low white-blood cell count, you might feel burnt out with classes or battling the winter blues. But your professor still expects you to be in class, meet for a group project and turn in a 10-page paper. You absolutely cannot lay on the futon because how will the work get done?

I tell you what a wise friend told me: “All will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.” (My friend, Julian of Norwich, is a fourteenth century nun and writer.)

At the end of the day, God is God. All will be well.

Life can seem overwhelming. Society, especially at Notre Dame, pressures us to work at the highest capability. Do and do more is our mantra. Even then, our accomplishments seem insignificant. We sense our smallness in a vast world. Our bodies feel defenseless.

In a physical sense, our body has the flu. Spiritually, our soul requires some tender, loving care. We must look for nourishment and sustenance, and Julian points us to God’s grace shared through Christ made man. God himself was made human, so that we might have his very being among us.

We, like Christ, are dwelling places of God. The human heart is large enough to contain God. Our minds can hardly comprehend how the all-present and all-knowing God makes His home in your heart. God is not bigger than us. God is in us.

Remembering this is essential for our physical and spiritual well-being. We are created beings and we are at the center of God’s story. God made us, God loves us and God cares for us. Even when we feel most sick and weak and insufficient, we do not fall into nothingness. The infinite love of God saves us from harm. If we cannot rest in this wisdom, God’s peace cannot dwell in our hearts.

Love yourself enough to rest. Your physical body and your spiritual soul need healing. When we sleep, we help our body fight off viruses and bacteria that are making us sick. Letting go of transgressions on our soul helps to make our heart a healthy dwelling place for God. There are dark corners of our heart that we think light will never reach. We feel the pain, we ache and we grow tired. God’s love and grace alone restores us to wellbeing.

Rest knowing that even if you cannot “do and do more” God will take care of your needs. Rest in the belief that after Christ’s pain, He rose again and all things were made new. Take consolation in our Lord’s suffering and hear God say, “All will be well.”

The work will get done. But if you are sick, the work will feel insufficient, unsatisfactory and unfulfilling. Nurse yourself back to health. Pay attention to areas of your physical and spiritual self that need God’s nourishment. He made you in love, and he will care for you.

This week’s Faithpoint is written by Meg Mirshak, an intern in the Office of Campus Ministry. She can be reached at mmirshak@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.