It’s my second day of Physical Therapy for lower back pain.  I lay flat on my back on a green, cushioned
table.  My knees are bent and I lift my
pelvis in and out of bridge pose ten, twenty times.  “How does that feel?” the therapist asks.

“I feel it pull a little in my lower back,” I say.

“Are you using your core?” he asks.

I pause and listen to my body.  I hear no answer.  “What do you mean?” I ask.

“You want to be using your transverse abdominal muscles to
lift,” he says, “not pushing up with your legs and back.  That’s why your back’s tweaking.  It’s not about how high you can go, it’s
about using those muscles.”

I turn back to my body and try tightening my lower stomach,
the soft section where my children grew. 
“Hello,” my transverse abdominal muscles whisper as if waking from a long nap.

The therapist goes on to tell me that the lower abdominal muscles, commonly referred to as the “core,” act as a natural girdle keeping the pelvis and spine in alignment.  I wonder, as I redo my bridges, how I can go
through years of my life completely disengaged from my core?


A week later, I lay belly-down on the long, green cushioned
table, my face pressed into an oval opening. 
My shirt is lifted, my back exposed, and a therapist works slow circles
in the muscles of my lower back.  Later, cool
gel holds pads in strategic position and wires send electricity buzzing into
tightened muscles coaxing them into surrender. 
A layer of warm towels is laid on top, a timer set, and the therapist
busies herself in another part of the room.

With my face in the hole, I close my eyes, I open them.  My contacts drift across my eyes and the
world around me is slightly out of focus. 
Conversations float through the air and I tune them in and out like
radio stations. 

The electrical stimulation on my lumbar spine feels like
hundreds of tiny ants dancing, their feet on fire and it’s not an altogether
unpleasant sensation.  I open my eyes, I
close them.  I rest and think of the
woman waiting on a long-desired pregnancy. 
I pray.  I think of the man who is
dying and his wife.  I pray.  I wonder who I am here in this place.  A
t Physical Therapy, I am muscle and bone, slouching posture, weakened core.  But, beyond that, am I young? 
Am I old?  Am I mother, daughter,
  I listen to hear what my life will


After the timer
goes off, the pads are removed and I flip from stomach to back.  Knees bent, I practice “fall outs” and “ninety
degree presses” counting slowly from one to thirty on each side.  My mind drifts, and thoughts go in and out of
focus but I return again and again to tightening the core, attending in each
moment to that inner space.   

This, I know, is what prayer is, a centering practice, a
movement in which, putting aside all else, we tend to the core.

*   *   *

Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.  

What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?  

That’s my proposal – that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  You’re invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don’t worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right – you’re welcome to come as you are.  

While you’re here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  Thanks for being part of our community!  

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