A little over a year ago, one of my very best friends was in his way to meet his maker. His heart stopped. Had it not been for the intervention of his friends, co-workers and the grace of God–he would have left us in his mid forties.
As he was still recovering in the hospital, with minimal recollection of my visit, I wrote this. It sits, gathering cyber-dust on a blog I had before this one, called “Six Impossible Things.” I just want it here for posterity’s sake.
C.S. Lewis once opined that the process of the miraculous was simply a place where God expedited the things that he did everyday anyway. In so stating, his illustrative underpinning included the first miracle of Christ: the turning or water into wine. The water is drawn into the root, up through the plant of the vine. The photosynthetic processes come into play and the water thus becomes the very by-product of the grape itself. Lewis’ contention was the God does everyday through the biological inertia what he did that day in the hands of his son–thereby galvanizing the moment–This is indeed, God with us.
If at any moment, reasonable men struggle with the misconstrued “God of the gaps,” they need only to look at this. He’s not a God of the gaps, but a God that responds to a void. Gaps are for us. Voids–are for Him.
New year’s Eve. A phone call comes. Then another made. My best friend from 13 years of age had fallen into the arms of a church board member. The heart stopped. His father told me they were headed to UC Davis, the implication in his voice saying that goodbyes may not even happen. Brain activity was nil. And so were his chances. I was helpless. And so were the people closest to him now. A pastor, father, husband, son, and friend–silenced in the blink of an eye.
Then, the backstory fills in the whats, whys and wheres. And that’s where this story actually begins. Sort of.
Actually it begins in Genesis. Our very being–our soul–our consciousness–begins at the formative moment that He held aloft the dust of the ground, the predicatory dirt that is our physical bedrock–and breathed into us the breath of life.
And thus began human physiology–biology in the anthropological frame. We were alive.
And then the world turned–the eons drifted by. The scientific mind realized that the order in the universe had order. Intelligible order. Measurable parameters. Verifiable laws. Understanding emerged. Soon, the Grand Gardener’s affinity for turning water into wine revealed the processes by which we could do it through the very channels created by Him. We were middle-men, but we stood between Alpha and Omega to be such.
Medicinal amelioration was next. The ethereal and nearly metaphysical claims that “life is in the blood” became plausible. We would later discover that our literal breath–and its ancillary effects–were carried by our blood. Before long, a crude, invasive, and violent palliative came into our purview: A process by which the breath of life is forced into the lungs–and blood forced through to the blood–and ultimately to the vital organs. We were not God. But He was there. Guiding the gains.
Our breath. Our Genesis. Let us make man in our image . . .
And in a metaphorical void of Genesis–a full eight hours before the advent of 2014–my friend collapses to ruin in the presence of the very people he had just underwritten for the certification of this procedure. They had literally asked him to certify them for cardiopulmonary resuscitation mere weeks before. And he did–literally days before this day–the day that this child of God would be launched into his own prequel.
And the earth was without form, and void . . .
The descriptions of the trauma; the violent intubation–the two shocks to the heart–the descriptions of hypoxic bluing to levels described by the EMTs as being “levels they had never seen in anyone that lived,” all attainable because those with him at his traumatic Eden stood in the gap–and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Suddenly the bald, physiological interrogation, borne of the fits and turns of desperation, a void in the Universe, the world losing form and the frantic need to preserve a companionship on multiple levels–the same reasons He created US–became the very miracle in real time. They became that intermediary wine-maker exemplified for us 2,000 years ago.
There’s life in the Blood. There’s a reason the shedding of His blood was the price to carry death on his shoulders.
Because in it . . . is His very breath.