Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
-Romans 12: 6-8
Listen: Call and Response
Written by Laurie Schroeder Callen
Performed by Philip Callen and Laurie Schroeder Callen
Heal verb \ˈhēl\
Transitive verb 1a : to make sound or whole b : to restore to health 2a : to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome : MEND b : to patch up (a breach or division) 3 : to restore to original purity or integrity.
These private juxtaposed monologues explore a brief moment in time of a patient and her physician. From inside the mind of a suffering patient we hear the thoughts, fears and reflections that consume her as her young, ailing body resists a cure. Listening to the words of this physician, we perceive his limitations, his challenges and the burden he feels in his vocation. And ultimately, we can consider from his perspective that we all require God’s grace to be restored.
I immediately connected to the sound of David crying out to God, asking for mercy and relief from his pain, both spiritual and physical. Our wounds and ailments are multi-faceted, multi-dimensional struggles we carry in our steps. Some of them are healed, others are not. Some are managed, treated, dealt with, some are not. Some hover in our spirits every day and one day disappear, and we don’t even really notice.
And while we walk around needing healing, there are multitudes of humans who are called to intercede. They are called into hospitals and battlefields and schools and offices so that they can help facilitate the healing. So they can cure. And heal. But when they themselves are the struggling and the wounded, full of doubt and anguish – who will help them heal?
Laurie Schroeder Callen most recently performed the role of Judy in Daughters of the Sexual Revolution by Dana Leslie Goldstein and Hermione in The Winter’s Tale, both at The Workshop Theater. Selected NYC roles include Lulu in Miss Lulu Bett, Gertrude in Hamlet, Arkadina in The Seagull and, Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet, where she met her husband, Philip Callen. Laurie also lived in Europe for several years and trained at the Central School of Speech & Drama in London, earning her Masters in Classical Acting before joining The American Drama Group of Europe with their touring production of Death of a Salesman. Paralleling her life as an artist, Laurie also works as a medical educator and interpersonal skills coach for medical students, residents and physicians and is passionate about improving the doctor-patient relationship through simulation. Laurie and Phil live in Washington Heights, New York City.
This work was curated by Michael Markham.
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