Coming back in from the Artic cold is a painful experience. You rediscover every nerve ending in the numb coming back to life body part that you never fully understood existed. Reading about the nerve endings in books doesn’t give you a full sense of the range of feeling that they have. Once they have passed beyond, gone incredibly numb, and then been reborn, you discover the painful childbirth process of a nerve waking up!
I find that my memory of the process is already dulling with the passing of a full day. It couldn’t possibly be as painful as I remember. I must have been imaging the speed of going from warm to bitterly cold. I remember my counts during the brief stay, anticipating I would not be able to recall the details. Yes, it was even colder than you remember! Yes, one does get cold very quickly, faster than you can possibly imagine! Yes, even with warm layers ones extremities do go numb. Yet there is something more.
It would be too easy to assume that the body is just a shell that we use for a time and then discard. I found that I rediscovered the people who live within and define exactly what and who we are. I found the good and the not so good. I found the funny and not so funny. I found the warm and not so warm. In short, I found that people are the sum of who they are – often struggling to survive what is all around them. Earlier in the week it was the bitter cold; today is it the injustice of life, the self centered approach of those around us (myself included), and the thirst for family.
Life is precious. Treasure the wholeness and completeness of what makes you and me alive.
“When you look at a baby, it's just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can't see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.” (John 3.6)