So, when’s the last time you had front row seating to a new perspective?  Well, my recent trip to Africa offered me such a seat!  So good was my “seating” that the change that occurred in me represented a foundational shift to a new perspective…one that brought yet again more healing.  You see for the first time I was able to see the surgical experience from the fully-orbed view of a participant versus the singular perspective of a patient.  As noted in my last post, on far too many occasions growing up I had found myself being the one lying on the operating room table as opposed to being that of the designated caregiver.  Being a participant enabled me to see first-hand the care and concern that is extended to the patients.  It enabled me to see the “human side” of the surgical transaction.  For example on one such occasion I was given the opportunity to “assist” in a surgery on a young man’s arm.  Now mind you my “assisting” in this case was one small step removed from being the “blanket guy” but it gave me a “front row” seat at the table nonetheless.  Just picture this.  Here I am sitting across the table from the surgeon (in this case my brother) being instructed on the “what to do’s and what not to do’s.”  The instructions for me were simple…hold the young man’s arm. So, I did as I was told and gently grabbed on to the arm to steady it in place.  As I did however it was as though my breath had been taken away with this exclamation, “Holy smokes!!! His arm is warm.”  It’s important for you to know that from the memory of my mind’s eye the only perspective I had to this point was more of an abstract, antiseptic, fear-laced view of the experience.  BUT when I felt the arm of this young man I experienced the “touch” of humanity.  Ah, that was a beautiful thing! 

Taking part at this level essentially took even more of the energy out of the lies that have haunted me or been repressed into my subconscious for so many years.  For the first time, I was able to separate fact from fiction and see the surgical process for what it was and for what it wasn’t.  I was able to imagine that even during those dark of yesterday when I felt abandoned in the hospital my caregivers were able to “feel the touch” and the warmth of my body while they attended to me. Through this reconnection with my childhood fears my mind was in effect being renewed and the foundation of healing was begun. 

So, with all that said what might be the larger implications on our lives to this story? Could it be as simple as asking ourselves how often we listen to the lies that cause us to stand at more of an abstract distance from life?  That very point where we consider ourselves unworthy as opposed to allowing ourselves to experience (and feel) the weight and beauty of our own humanness?  Or could it be we need to consider just how often we allow ourselves to get close enough to experience (and feel) the touch of humanity given off from the authentic encounter with another? Perhaps we need to come up with ways to be more of a participant in the life that is in motion around us. Or just maybe we simply need more “Holy smokes!” moments where the lifeless effect of the mundane becomes the amazing touch of the Magnificent. Peace.