My fractured foot, the bruises, the resulting back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, fever. . .  I am astounded at how I suddenly find myself in a health crisis.  I am equally shocked that each day is as bad as the previous one.  It is not getting better day by day, as I expected it might.  It is as bad as the first day.  Last night I fell apart crying.
    I have been offering up these pains for my intentions, and striving to be grateful for the pain, as it may be a catalyst for these prayers being answered.  I have hobbled around the house and hobbled around town, trying to make the minimal requirements of teaching my class, picking up my kids on time, and not forgetting the most basic duties of each day.
     Yesterday morning I had a lovely time to pray.  The house was completely quiet–so rare these days.  I sat in silence.  I went inward, as spiritual guides such as Augustine and Teresa of Avila advise us to do.  They say that God is found inward and then upward.  Given how hectic my daily life is, and how I hard it has been to just meet my children’s and my survival needs, it felt strange and almost unfamiliar to go inward.  But in the quiet, I gladly turned in that direction.
     Nothing really happened.  It was just peaceful.  But I heard no voice, saw no vision.  I just trusted,  praised, and rested in Him.
     Later, I prayed, offering up my foot pain.  I thank God, as usual.  But when I did, I just burst out with a spontaneous prayer: “Perfect!”  I kept saying, “Perfect!”  Meaning: “This pain is perfect.  This break is perfect.  This falling apart is perfect.  It is perfect because it is just what you allowed, no more and no less.  It is perfect because it is debilitating, but not for life.  It is limiting, but not in every way.  And it is perfect to bring about the intentions that you have given me.  I get to be united to Christ in his physical pain on the cross.  That is heaven–to be with Jesus.  That is powerful–to intercede with him for his creation, for his people, the ones he has put in my life.  So yes: this problem is perfect.”
      I see the word “perfect” as I look at my foot.  It is my day’s mantra.  Perfect.  It is my “Yes” to God.  It is my Fiat.  It is the grace God is giving me to day to have some measure of what Augustine and so many others prompt us to have: “Perfect” resignation.