The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Prescription for the spirit

At my last checkup my physician asked if my diet contained enough calcium and fiber. We agreed that my headaches could relate to getting up during the night to breast-feed a hungry 6-month-old.

But what if he'd asked how I'd been coping with new motherhood, increased responsibility and the emotional ups and downs of a loved one? Asked about the thoughts and emotions that traverse the secret, inward world behind my eyes — a world never fully seen by anyone but God? Surely a general lack of sleep and, every month or so, a pounding heart, knotted stomach and shaking hands affect the vessels, valves and cells so necessary for physical life.

What if he'd written me a prescription for generous amounts of social support? Asked me to eat more fruits of the spirit? Recommended that I meditate on what is true, pure and holy? Suggested that I be more forgiving of others and myself?

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March issue

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