Latte & Liturgy

Currently I’m sitting in the lovely Stir cafe in Cambridge (other lovely cafes in Cambridge are available 😉 ) recovering from a dental check up…

You may or may not know , but if you have a heart condition, dental health becomes even more important as dental infection can quickly reach the heart.

It’s nearly two years since I had heart surgery and whilst my recovery has been very good & very tough, I’m still affected by it in many subtle and not so subtle ways.

Since surgery, for example visits to the dentist are much more difficult .I think it’s a combination of vulnerability and the lights & instruments coming towards me.

Something that I have found very interesting is that in two years I have yet to meet a single person who has had the same heart surgery as me- and I’ve met and spoken with people who’ve had a variety of cardiac procedures. Indeed my experience is that gyms are full of chest scarred folk!

I have come to the sobering and stark conclusion that sadly the majority of people with an aortic aneurysm don’t discover it until it’s too late.

Whilst I can’t and won’t attempt to explain or justify the cruelty that befalls people , though I firmly believe that Christ is always with us in our suffering and carries our scars , I do believe it wasn’t just luck that gave me the timely opportunity of surgery. My doctors now believe given in theatre what condition they found my aorta in , I would’ve been having non elective surgery within two years….. I guess there was more for me to do.

I am now beginning to explore what that may be, but it certainly seems to continue to be about ministering to the Venn diagrams of life.

I have written before about our constant use of heart imagery and symbols – it’s almost impossible to go through an Anglican service without some instruction or desire to lift them up or let them swell ( a particularly poignant one for me ! ) and as if to prove the point this is what arrived at my perch in the cafe just now

I’m grateful to God & the medical professionals every day for the surgery I elected to have .

Whilst I may look fully recovered, I don’t mind at all if you ask how I’m doing – the impact of major surgery runs deeper than the physical scars I have learnt myself & have had shared by others.

One of the many things that surgery has taught me is not only to be thankful for all our blessings in life, but to seek to act with kindness and compassion to others ; we never know what scars each of us are carrying on the path.

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