Resource: Christian Meditation for the Chronically Ill

Generally the resources on this blog draw on insights from different religions and traditions but can be practiced by people of all faiths and none. This post provides some Christian specific resources which are aimed at Christians or Christian-Agnostics. I intend to collate similar resources for other faiths, but as my faith tradition is Christian I’d like to receive some suggestions from you. Do you have Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Jewish meditation/contemplation/relaxation free resources you use? If so, please comment or tweet me (@TweetTipsforME).

This post is split into three sections (doubt/fatigue/active) with the intention that you’ll only use the resources from the bit that suits your current experiences otherwise the other resources may aggravate you, and faith can be a very emotive thing.

Today’s post is dedicated to Allan Dickinson who sadly passed away at the end of August. I didn’t know Allan well but I was moved by how he was able to keep his faith alive through the tribulations of ME. This is one of Allan’s poems:

Love the Lord your God…

…with all your strength:
although that is very little,
when an hour’s activity
forces a next day’s rest;

…with all your mind:
although you struggle to concentrate
and you can’t take anything in,
and all seems like fog;

…with all your heart:
although it beats with palpitations,
or drops the flow of blood to the brain
and makes you faint;

…with all your soul:
when this is all that’s left intact,
which cannot be harmed by physical illness,
the still centre where you meet God.

I am called to love God with all of my being,
with all of M.E.

Allan Dickinson (24th October 2010)


1 Doubt and Illness

Those of us who had a vibrant faith and become chronically ill discover many challenges to our previous assumptions. On an intellectual level we all know there is immense suffering in the world but that isn’t nearly the same thing as experiencing unrelenting symptoms and feeling like your prayers are unanswered. Some of us may also have difficult experiences with other people in our faith community which tarnish our previous perceptions of a supportive church family (for me this was a bigger issue than the theological crisis that illness provokes).

If you are in a place of doubt, frustration or disillusionment I have curated a type of virtual service to meet you in that place. Just play this YouTube playlist:

Warning: this is for people who are already grappling with doubt, you may not want to think about these issues if you’re happy and full of faith!

If you’re interested in these resources you might want to find out more about Pete Rollins, Padraig O Tuama and Ikon


2 Faith is Tiring

This second playlist is for those of you whose faith remains unchanged but you’re simply to blooming ill to pray let alone make it to church or contribute to the community.

This is for fairly passive and relaxing viewing:


3 Active Meditation

People who don’t have chronic health conditions may not realise that it takes energy to meditate and pray!

There are some interactive online resources to enable spiritual experiences at home:

This is a good online Labyrinth by Youth for Christ

Re:Jesus has some resources

Apps include Taize readings, prayer beads and many more

(I’m having trouble adding links at the moment, check  back soon for more links here).

The playlist below requires a bit more engagement and provides a Christian alternative to hypnosis and yoga style meditations. Personally I feel these aren’t as well done as similar resources from other faiths but I know that some Christians feel anxious about things like yoga and meditation so this may relieve that anxiety:

If you have any better videos to add send the link to emailtipsforme@gmail.com and I may add them into the playlists.

How has living with a chronic illness impacted your faith journey? 

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3 thoughts on “Resource: Christian Meditation for the Chronically Ill

  1. Thank you for sharing this and being so honest and open about the struggles we with our bodies and with our souls face with illness. I watched the first part of the first video before the song (ongoing chronic migraine). I’ve been prayed for in public by so many people and I try to remember it is a lovely gesture, if not only embarrassing for me.

    I just recently posted my first Christian post that took a lot of courage for me about Prayer and my struggles with faith. It’s such a personal topic, so I commend you for doing this post.

    God be with you on your journey,
    abodyofhope

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: “Why, sometimes… | Tips for ME

  3. Pingback: Learning how to die | Tips for ME

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