United Church of Christ

Body Talk

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.” - Psalm 16:9 (NRSV)

I am not a good sleeper. I cannot remember the last time I slept through the entire night without waking up several times. My doctor recommended melatonin and while it helps, I still do not sleep soundly.

Everything that has to be done, everything that should have gotten done, everything I did, everything I messed up, ev.er.y.thing plays out in my mind as I try to go to sleep and in those waking moments throughout the night.

I awake and feel the tiredness all in my body. As I stretch in gratitude for a new day—my body aches. As I shake off the bit of grogginess from the sleep supplement, the heaviness of my not-quite-rested body reminds me that something has to change.

What is my body trying to tell me?

I envy the trust of the psalmist. The complete trust. Can I ever achieve this level of trust so that “my body also rests secure”

Perhaps the issue is not my trust in God, but my lack of trust in myself and what I am being called to do each day.

Perhaps my body is calling me back to myself. To slow down and take notice. To stop and mindfully check in with my body. To breathe into those places in my body that are desperately and painfully holding on to the tension, fear, and pressure I feel and experience as I try and live out my call in these times of so much suffering, death, hate, othering…of Black bodies, immigrant bodies, trans bodies, womxn’s bodies, children’s bodies…

Perhaps my body is reminding me that I belong to God; that God is not calling me to be perfect, but to be faithful.

And that is enough. I am enough.

Prayer

Loving God, “You show me the path of life. In your presence, there is fullness of joy.” Thank you! Amen.

About the Author
Marilyn Pagán-Banks serves as Pastor of San Lucas UCC, Executive Director of A Just Harvest and Adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

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