Gratitude is a big part of my spiritual practice— and I want to share something for which I am profoundly grateful: the Gift of Mobility. Two years ago today—February 19, 2019—I had my second spinal fusion. For eight long months before the surgery I was unable to stand or walk without pain; driving was no longer possible. At home I used a cane and then a walker, and I rarely left the house. As my physical ability diminished, I was forced to rely on others to help me with ordinary tasks like grocery shopping and laundry. I am incredibly grateful that there was a surgical remedy for my condition—and have an abiding sense of joy both in being mobile and not being in pain 24/7.
This experience has given me a heightened sense of awareness for those who struggle with physical challenges, especially those permanently disabled. February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Founded in 2009, JDAIM is a unified effort among Jewish organizations worldwide to raise awareness and foster acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities, including neuro-diverse abilities, mental health challenges, and those who love them.
I keep a prayer journal, where I pray for people in need of healing. In honor of JDAIM I have added an action section—where I can not only pray, but also reach out to those facing physical, emotional, and neuro-atypical challenges, and see how I can make a difference in their lives. I invite you to join me in this effort.
In this week’s Torah portion, Terumah תְּרוּמָה (usually translated as ‘gift’ or ‘freewill offering’), we read that God wants “an offering from every person whose heart inspires them to generosity”. Exodus 25:2. I believe that when we reach out in love and kindness to others, we create a sacred space for God to dwell inside our heart. The more we are inspired to be our best selves— to freely and generously share our gifts— the larger this space becomes. One of the ways we can enlarge this space is through spiritual practices like prayer and meditation. One of my favorite spiritual practices is putting pen to paper. Some days I journal, some days I letter, some days I draw—but the interaction of ink on paper gives me a sense of connection.
The Dangle House in this week’s design originated in one of my morning journals. If you would be interested in learning how to create your own Zenspirations® Dangle House, I’ll be offering a Zoom workshop in April. I also give workshops for religious and secular organizations, so please let me know if that would be of interest to your community.
Here’s my prayer for this week:
MAY YOU FIND GOD
©Joanne Fink, 2021
May the gifts you freely share
help you connect to
the Mishkan of your Soul—
the Sacred Space
where the Divine Presence dwells
May you find God
in unexpected encounters
and in the face of everyone you meet
May you find blessing
in the tears you cry
the pain you feel
and the moments that take your breath away
May every intentional act
of kindness, courage, defiance and love
extend an invitation to the Source of All
to dwell within your heart
within your mind, within your soul
and to sanctify your heart’s light
As always, you are welcome to share (with attribution, please).