Friday, June 21, 2013

Keeps me singing, keeps me breathing

Mile log: 603

"Come set your rule and reign
In our hearts again
Increase in us, we pray, 
Unveil why we're made
Come, set our hearts ablaze with hope
Like wildfire in our very souls
Holy Spirit, come invade us now
We are Your Church, 
And we need Your power in us!"

Abby and I sang the words loud and clear in the car this morning, as we drove to my pulmonary doctor's office at the hospital. I have my regular 6-month check-up in two weeks, but I had to go this morning to do a "breathing test" so the doctor could really know how I am doing. In the metaphorical way the tech put it: "We need to track how your plumbing and filtering systems are working."  

I recently read Joni and Ken, a new book about the unusual and powerful love story of Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada. (Um, read it!) One habit Joni has had for years is that she sings hymns and praise songs as loud and strong as she can to combat two pitfalls - depression and pneumonia.  So, while I did go through my morning routine of nebulizing and machine-coughing, I thought I'd better also prepare for my appointment by singing like Joni does. I don't know if Joni ever listens to or sings along with Rend Collective Experiment, but I did today. And wow, was it good. 

So I breathed into a machine, and followed orders that sounded a lot like Lamaze coaching, and watched the line on the graph go from a mellow flow to a spike-and-plunge that translated into decimal-pointed numbers in a chart. Crazy, how we can reduce the wonder of the human body to charts and graphs. The tech was really impressed though, and showed me how the lines and numbers matched the test measurements she took of me a year and a half ago. The amazing thing about it is, in that year and a half, I have spent two weeks in the hospital with bronchitis/pneumonia last spring, and had it again in the comfort of my own home for two weeks this past winter. The tech said that people with my kind of weakness just don't bounce back from that kind of respiratory distress - not in the 100% way that I did... plus I'm two years older, and she said age naturally factors in. I think that is what we call a miracle... right? 

It encouraged me. It made me recall congestion and pain, and smile at the quiet flow of air that effortlessly filled my lungs today. My "plumbing" is clear, my "filters" are clean, and I can breathe and sing. Sing! Abby and I swung by Starbucks on the way home to buy celebratory drinks and make a toast: to restoration. God is in the business of restoring... and I know that he has restored my lungs and my strength in this season for a good purpose. 

"Unleash Your kingdom power
Reaching the near and far
No force of hell can stop
Your beauty changing hearts. 
For You made us for much more than this
Awake the kingdom seed in us
Fill us with the strength and love of Christ
We are Your church, and
We are the hope on earth!"

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