There are days when the earth stops spinning. It happened today.
The scene was rather ironic: I walked out of German class where I had spent the last half hour laboring over a German passage about the Galilean controversy. Having finally conquered those simple sentences about the earth’s rotation, I picked up my cell to dial a friend whose call I had missed during class. Her words stopped my world on its orbit.
She gave news about a potentially serious health condition facing an old friend of mine. He and I have lost touch over the years, moved in different directions I guess, but he remains one of the most significant influences of my life. His happiness and well-being mean to the world to me.
Despite the fact that I have increasingly faced the reality of suffering and hardship in my community in recent years, this news halted the momentum of my day. As the bewildered question, “how is this happening?” lingered in me all afternoon, I yearned for the world I had woken up in this morning. A world where I took the health of my friend for granted. A world where we were so safe I didn’t have to think about the state of our bodies.
We don’t notice the spin of the earth because we are accustomed to it. If the world suddenly stopped we would realize that we’d been spinning, unthinkingly, this whole time. Our bodies would feel it. I think we often take our way of life for granted until something suddenly interrupts its momentum. It happened today.