Updated: Mar 14, 2018
I have heard a lot themes surrounding detachment, surrender, letting go. How fitting for Lent. Yesterday, I was enlightened to hear a historian's account on how Jesus would've been scourged before his crucifixion. (**The image I am about to paint, is a little gruesome; if you have a sensitive stomach this is your warning to skip to the next paragraph.**) The Romans were masters of torture. Instead of chaining Jesus to a pillar and whipping him, this historian shares of the torture tactics that the Romans would have actually used around the time that Jesus was crucified. They would've most likely tied his wrists together, and lifted his body up from that vantage point to where his tip-toes could touch the ground but he couldn't support himself or catch himself. They whipped him in that position, as if he were a literal rag doll. Talk about vulnerability, pain, and humiliation.
We are to let go of our false selves, which is the part of us reaching for happiness through power, affection, control, wealth, security, etc. We are to let go of those things no matter how much pain and humiliation we face. Our vulnerability, openness, and willingness in the face of our darkness as well as the need to overcome and to transcend that for and with God is our call.
This reminds me a lot of hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is a naturopathic practice of stimulating the lymphatic system for healing, detoxification, and immune support among other benefits. You start with a hot towel on your abdomen and then they wrap you up like a burrito to stew and simmer for a little bit. Next is a towel out of ice water with time to simmer, and then a dry towel. Then you flip over so that you can do a hot towel and then a cold towel on your back. Your vulnerability in this practice is the direct contact with the towels that are ice cold, boiling hot, and stagnant dry. You flip over to experience the ice cold and boiling hot on the other side of yourself as well. The whole point of hydrotherapy is to detox the body of any toxins, illness, bad bacteria, or any kind of negative energy so to promote and to boost a healthier and more energizing lifestyle. When we are healthier and have more energy, we can give more of ourselves.
Isn't this the same with our faith lives? We have to face our inner toxins and illnesses trusting that God can get us through the ice cold, boiling hot, and stagnant dryness. When we fully rely on Him through these experiences, we conquer ourselves and grow deeper into the Transcendent and the Eternal Himself.