#27: Healing walk

Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the lake, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.’ From that time Jesus began to proclaim, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:12-20)

Have you ever noticed how Jesus walked through a very particular landscape: along the Jordan River, into the wilderness, up Mount Olives, across the Sea of Galilee, into Jerusalem? This reading names just some of the important locations.

 Singer-songwriter Neil Murray writes about the healing walk which follows the route of eels from the mouth of the Hopkins River up to Lake Bolac.

Two days later when we arrived at Wickliffe I was feeling an incredible, unexplained love for the group. They were not just my companions, they were like family. Together we’d helped each other, supported each other and shared an intimate dialogue with an evolving river land dynamic over distance that in turn explored our own inner landscape with each other and ourselves. It may take a few days for the veneer of urban, motorised existence to subside from our systems but eventually, through the simple act of using one’s legs to traverse the ground and the cumulative effect of sleeping outdoors, everyone connects back to the earth in a fundamental way. Participants report a feeling of well being, restorative to mind and body. Each healing walk affirms that just as wildlife needs corridors to roam, so do people. People need to walk in landscape that is meaningful to them …

I was on a high from the walk. I felt more alive, stronger and fitter than I would be at any other time of the year. I wanted to keep that feeling. I didn’t want to come down to: emails, bills, responsibilities, taxes, telephone, TV, the Internet. I wanted to stay out there close to something sacred. For a handful of days we’d held it between ourselves. Felt ourselves connected to all living things. Felt the lineage of all our ancestors back to the first peoples that ever emerged to take a step. Ω

Reflect: What landscape is meaningful to you and nourishes you? If you can’t walk there now, close your eyes and imagine yourself there. Recall the sights, sounds, and smells. Imagine Jesus is walking beside you. What do you show him? What does he show you? What connections do you make?

#Lent2020 © Sanctuary, 2020 quoting Neil Murray, A Healing Walk. www.eelfestival.org.au/assets/healingwalkessay.pdf.


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