Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Musings of a massage therapist

I love massage therapy.  I love what I do.  I love where I work.  I love the people I get to work on.  I love helping people and making them feel better.  I love making them feel important, like they matter to someone.  I love working on people's muscles and feeling them loosen up and react to what I'm doing.  I love learning things about people and talking to them about their lives, their families, their jobs, their beliefs.  I get to make all sorts of observations and learn a lot about people in general.  and I think it's time I start sharing them.

One observation I made last night kind of amused me.  and I just realized it last night but could remember times in the past when the same thing has happened I just didn't fully understand it.  When I work on people for the first time, we usually have a little bit of a "getting to know each other" period of conversation.  "So what do you do for a living... are you married.... how many kids... have you been to this office for a long time..."  and occasionally I will have someone who asks me those same questions back.  (A lot of the time people are just glad to have someone who will ask them questions and don't bother to ask much about me, which is fine, just another observation within this observation). 

 So anyway, last night I was working on a lovely chap and he was as inquisitive about my life as I was about his.  The funniest thing happened though, he asked me what my husband does for a living and I answered, of course, "oh he's a youth pastor at Impact Church here in Lowell".  There was about a 10 second pause in conversation as he wrapped his mind around that and what it meant about me.  I felt like I could hear the neurons in his brain connecting and making assumptions about me and realizing what I'm all about because... it takes a person of certain faith and beliefs to marry a pastor, especially one who works primarily with teens, right?  So after that he immediately mumbled something like, "ohhh yeah.  I went to Lincoln Lake Bible Camp when I was a kid a couple of times."  To which I responded something polite and encouraging like, "wow that's really cool!".  except not that.  I can't remember exactly what I said.

Anyhow, I love that Josh's profession says a lot about me.  Because when I'm giving someone a massage I would never say, "Hi, I'm Leslie, I'm a Christian and I love Jesus, a lot."  'cause that's not professional and some people are uncomfortable with Christianity and have had a lot of odd or bad experiences with the church.  But because my husband is a pastor, I get to talk about God and church and others' experiences on a regular basis.  I hear stories of people who are hurt a lot by the church, people who love church, people who love my church- Impact, people who don't say it (but I can tell) who don't really like Impact a lot, people who don't go to church but still love God, people who have a little too much religion and not enough Jesus, people who have never been to church but kind of want it, people who don't have all the answers but ask a lot of questions.   and I am blessed with the opportunity to show Gods love to all of them.

I get to have meaningful conversations at my work.  It's like saying "my husband is a youth pastor" is casting out a line and some times people take the bait and tell me their stories and some times people just pass over it.  But either way, it always leads to something interesting.  and I pray before I go to work on a regular basis that God will use me to be a light for Him to the people that I see.  I see that prayer answered on a consistent basis and I saw that prayer answered last night.  The lovely chap I worked on and I had an awesome conversation.   and I love that I don't even have to bring it up, but that simply by asking a few probing questions about my life, people are thrown into an opportunity to talk about Jesus.