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AND THERE IS NO HEALTH IN US
October 26, 2004
 
How are you feeling these days? someone asks, and I say that I am fine. And I am fine: all the electrical systems in my heart work like a clock now, all its plumbing is repaired. I am back at the gym, working up a welcome sweat, managing to produce a pulse in three digits for the first time in many months.

And yet a certain disarray continues. My memory is so poor that it cannot even be said to play tricks on me: it's not smart enough to play a trick. Important engagements slide off the slick surface of my mind -- I can almost see them disappear, even as I reach for them, see the terrible grey sheen of a slickness that shouldn't be there. Shouldn't my brain be more -- eventful? Shouldn't things stick in its folds? Nothing sticks.

And so, while sins of commission are down, sins of omission are definitely up: I have not done those things which I ought to have done. The Prayer Book used to add, after that line in the general confession, And there is no health in us, but we dropped it in 1979: it seemed to lack the cheeriness upon which we insisted in those days -- remember that the 70s were the decade that brought us the smiley face.

I miss And there is no health in us. Not because I romanticize illness -- use a few bedpans and the glamour is plumb gone. But I have learned that my health and my goodness and even my mind are not in me. These things may be part of me, but they are all gifts: though I may husband my health, I don't make it. Don't create it. Don't set its limits. Its comings and goings remain mysterious. The miracle of the human body and mind and conscience, their faithful housing and holding of life, their brave struggles to remain whole, to regain lost ground -- these are imagined and then given by One more wonderful, even, than all their intricacies.

Thanks and thanks and thanks be to God. Let my disarray only show me what wonders I had, what wonders God still imagines. Still gives.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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