; A thousand cranes to inner peace
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A thousand cranes to inner peace


Enter Pastor Matthew Isert-Bender. While playing baseball in the local church league last summer, he reached down to catch a ground ball hit along the baseline. The base runner's knee connected squarely with Isert-Bender's head, knocking him over.Leaders in the congregation were made aware of his situation and supported him in his healing process. While the cranes symbolize world peace, his prayer became, "God, give me peace." Besides folding cranes, he also sought medical attention and the services of a masseuse, counsellor and spiritual director. Isert-Bender celebrates that he made it for 38 years without any more serious injuries, but he has also learned that he dare not push himself as hard as he used to do.He's trying to sit more, focus on one thing and enjoy the food he eats, and he has acquired a new depth of spiritual practice. It has been a long, slow climb back to his pre-concussion form, although at the end of February Isert-Bender wasn't sure if he was all the way back, despite the fact his doctor has given him the go-ahead to resume marathon racing.

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