Recently I have had a very bad bout of vertigo, which was caused by a new medication I was taking to try and ease my vertigo. Trust me to react adversely to something which was supposed to help! I have struggled through the last few weeks, gradually decreasing the amount of these drugs and waiting to feel a bit better; for the ground to stop shifting and swaying. I have been looking for something to give me hope. One insight from a daily meditation by the Franciscan writer Richard Rohr struck me in particular– “Forevermore the very worst things have the power to become the very best things. Henceforth, nothing can be a permanent dead end; everything is capable of new shape and meaning.”
This refers to the Christian narrative of cross and resurrection. That maybe sounds off-putting, but perhaps those who do not engage much with the Christian story these days can nevertheless see the death of Jesus and his subsequent resurrection as offering a message about hope always following pain, no matter how hard that pain can be. A terrible event was followed by a startling, unexpected and triumphant outcome. Faith draws us to apply this principle to many of life’s situations.
Since reading that, I have been repeating this phrase to myself – ‘nothing can be a permanent dead end’ – and I have found hope and comfort as I recover from the disappointment of a treatment failing to work. I look to whatever other possibilities may lie ahead with the potential to offer new shape and meaning. Even as I have been feeling ill and weak, I have engaged with a part of the Christian story and found how it connects with my own story. We can do that as individuals and as community, as we pursue with others what we wish for ourselves.