I, like most, had never given much thought to my body outside of what it could do for me. I treated it poorly often and used it carelessly. I counted on it to be available for me whether I’d given it what it needed or whether I’d neglected it. It wasn’t until I came face to face with the imperfect nature of the human body that I found myself face to face with my humanity, my fallibility and my eventual death.
The human heart is formed before the eight week of pregnancy. What begins as a single cell becomes a heart tube which then folds over into itself once to form two chambers and another to form the final four. For reasons still unknown to medical researchers and cardiologists, there are times when that highly intricate process goes awry and results in what’s known as Congenital Heart Defect. Of all of the babies born today, approximately 1 out of 100 will have a CHD and will require at least one invasive heart surgery.
I know this because my son in one of those CHD kids. I have a 4 year old son who has taught me far more about life, meaning, courage and death than I could ever hope to teach him. If you will permit me, I will share some of the lessons I have learned at his feet.
Not everyone is born with a perfect body but that does not make them imperfect. In fact, they may have something vital to teach you if you will just listen.
Those who have already faced death have an uncanny ability to enjoy life, perhaps because they know they are living on “borrowed time”. Those of us who haven’t faced death would do well to learn how to do the same.
Health is not to be taken lightly or taken for granted. We only have one body & we should fuel it well, nurture it often and love it dearly. When we do, we will never regret it.
The truth is that each of us has an invisible ticking time bomb over our head and one day, we will face death. What matters between now and then is what we do with the time we have. Our human bodies were not made to last forever and the sooner we accept that, the sooner each of us can start living life to the fullest measures available.
The human body is a masterful work. Even when it is flawed by many human standards, it is beautiful and awe-inspiring. I encourage each of us to examine each and every person we encounter with the reverence we would feel standing before a Picasso as each of us is deserving of such. And when you have the privilege of meeting someone who has conquered a physical disability or illness, sit with them to learn what lesson they have to teach you. Each scar carries a story…Listen well & love often.