Friday, September 24, 2010


My friend Kristen and I have had numerous conversations about the thought of palanca. It's the spiritual practice of offering up a sacrificial action to help another person in prayer. I don't know if that's a good description, but the gist of our conversations has been that we're not sure we get palanca, or see how it works, and struggle with the implications of it-- that is, if walking with a pebble in my shoe would bend the will of God, well... what the heck?
But now, I get it because someone I love is very sick. Suddenly, I am anxious to do palanca- I want to do something- ANYTHING- to help Katherine. I want to feel pain and suffering if it means that she doesn't have to. I want to do anything to help. I want to give give give to make sure that she gets.
And it dawns on me that I don't know how or if palanca works, I don't know how or if prayer works, and somehow that doesn't matter now- I am coming to see that doubt is for the safe, the secure, the comfortable. Katherine's mother said to me "we'll beat this, because there's no other option." And to me, there's no other option but to turn to God and fall on Him and offer what I can offer, so I will do it, whether I get how it works or not.

1 comment:

HerMajesty00 said...

Funny.....I always thought getting Palanca was getting a bed full of prizes after the hard prayer part at a retreat! I never gave it any further thought after I got my bed full of palanca at the old Tech retreat!
But taking on someone's pain or offering up your own pain for someone else is sadly something I am a bit of an expert in. Having daily pain for 19 years can, well, get to a person after a while. It can be a challenge not to feel sorry for yourself, especially if you are a pretty nice person in general and you sometimes get the thought which no one ever wants to admit too, "gee I do NOT deserve this."
Of course no one deserves to suffer. But taking on someone elses' suffering is something I think God wants us to at least contemplete. In the end it was one of the Biggie big things his Son did for all of us.
I will offer up for Katherine's mom because hers is a double pain.... praying for you all