Align the Body as Well as the Soul

Make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:13

I came across this verse in today’s Moravian Daily Texts, an ecumenical devotional guide read by 1.5 million in 50 languages. Though the writer of Hebrews surely meant spiritual healing, the same principle — align yourself correctly to be healthy — applies to the physical body as well.

With my Pilates instructor, Katrine, I am currently trying to heal tendinitis in a shoulder joint — partly by trying to learn to use my arm in a better way. And with a physical therapist, Jeff, I am retraining my jaw to open in a normal way. (Loquacious as I am, my mandible is abnormally tight.)

So it occurs to me that Hebrews 12:13 could be the mantra for Pilates and physical therapy. If your body is not aligned correctly, it develops bad habits until eventually you are “out of joint.” Pilates trainers and physical therapists discern alignment problems; they heal.

For your interest, here is the entire selection. The long passages (Psalms, Hebrew Bible, New Testament) at the top are from the “lectionary,” the verses read and preached upon by most Christian churches for this week. The Hebrew Bible verse (Ezekiel for today)  is chosen by lot during the previous year. A minister chooses the New Testament verse to go with it — and composes the prayer.

Moravian Daily Texts

Friday, July 12 – Psalm 83:13-18 Isaiah 32:1-33:16; Ephesians 5:21-33

They shall live in safety, and no one shall make them afraid. Ezekiel 34:28
Make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. Hebrews 12:13
Like a comforting mother, hold me this day, Lord, with the tender touch that kisses our wounds and rubs our shoulder and keeps us safe when we fall or even fail. Thank you Lord. Amen.

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