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Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Whiff of Heaven

Today I had a...a...mammogram. That's right. I said mammogram. Let me explain. I have diabetes and consequently high cholesterol. Anyway, last week I went in for the usual blood work to check my sugar and cholesterol levels, and earlier this week I went in to see my doctor to talk about the the lab results. The results? All good. My A1c (sugar) and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels were down while my HDL (good cholesterol) level was up. Couldn't ask for a better situation other than complete healing. The doctor was happy. I was happy. But just as I was about to leave, I said something like, "By the way, I'm sure it's nothing but I've noticed a... a...lump growing in left...ah...chest area (I somehow couldn't bring myself to say "breast") but I'm sure it's nothing." My doctor sighed and said, "Let's take a look at it." To make a long story short, the next thing I knew I was getting a mammogram and a sonogram at the Darlene G. Cass Women's Imaging Center. To my surprise (and reduction of manly embarrassment) there were a handful of men there as well, and, fortunately, a separate entrance for us to access the exam rooms. Looks like it's not unusual for folk like us (i.e., men) to find things growing in particular parts of our bodies. The results? I have a cyst the size of a pea in my left (OK, I'll say it) "breast." I saw it plainly and clearly on both the mammogram and sonogram. It was a spherical white object in the mammogram and a spherical black object in the sonogram. The sonogram technician told me that "black" means it's a cyst, i.e., a pocket of fluid. The doctor who came in afterwards to talk to me about the cyst told me that I would have to get it aspirated and its contents looked at in the lab. What does any of this have to do with grace? Here are a few musings that popped into my mind: (1) For some reason just before leaving my doctor's office, the memory of the lump just so happened to pop into my mind. Coincidence? The Holy Spirit? (2) The mammogram and the sonogram are amazing metaphors for the Word of God as it assists us in "seeing the things that are unseen." (3) the lump in my chest (there I go again), is a reminder of my mortality. Whether it's malignant or benign, if it isn't this it's going to be that: in other words, nobody is getting out of this alive. Yes, captain, the Titanic is going down. (4) the aroma of heaven, the fragrance of life, is beginning to fill my nostrils. Well, it's just a whiff at the moment, but I'm looking forward to the full bouquet. In fact, let me end this post with a song I wrote called "Longing for Home."

There's a country I've never seen—
It borders the edge of my waking dreams.
Sometimes in silence I can almost hear,
Its far off music, sweet and clear.

I can't shake this yearning of my soul,
I'm longing for my home.

Some folk look back to the good ol' days,
To picture perfect memories through a child's gaze.
Some folk see the future with its promises sublime—
I see them as mere shadows of a place beyond time.

I can't shake this yearning of my soul,
I'm longing for my home.

Like a fish out of water,
Like a man lost at sea,
I find myself alone, longing just to be
At the end of the story,
At the heart of each poem,
I can hear the echo of my home.

Behind every rain cloud the sun shines free,
The King and his kingdom surround you and me,
So live life with courage and love without fear,
Hope in the darkness, our home is near.

I can't shake this yearning of my soul,
I'm longing for my home.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
To home the Lord my soul will take.

I can't shake this yearning of my soul,
I'm longing for my home.

I can't shake this yearning of my soul,
I'm finally going home.

Under Grace,

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