Thursday, January 3, 2008


If going home from a hospital the day before Thanksgiving acted as one bookend for this holiday season, a follow-up appointment with my cardiologist this morning felt like the other. After assurances that my blood pressure was responding marvelously to the new medications, the doctor answered one pressing question of mine: were my days shoveling snow over with this new diagnosis and reinvigorated health regimen?

To Marc’s relief and even – I discovered – to mine, the answer was No.

Amid all the usual cautions connected to New England winter weather, my doctor urged the value of maintaining regular physical exertion as a help to maintaining a healthy heart.

In so many ways I could say that a key focus of mine for the past two years has been a healthy heart – experienced on the emotional level, on the psychological level, on the spiritual level, and now, it turns out, on the physical level as well.

Read from all those perspectives, the sayings that emerged in my prayer this Advent and Christmas season and that found their way onto pieces of paper that I kept safe in my prayer book constitute what seems a message that God wants – at this point in my life, still wants – what is good for me. I offer these sayings in the event that they might provide even one reader with a similar reassurance about the hopes in her own life or his.

Stay calm. Don’t run away.
December 1

Wait. There’s something you have to hear.
December 2

Still not yet. It can’t yet be seen.
December 3

There’s nothing you need that I don’t know about.
December 5

Healing is what I do.
December 6

I will be about joy.
December 9

How could I want anything but what’s good for you?
And what’s happy?
December 10

Have I not done good for you?
December 13

No part of you will be lost.
December 15

It doesn’t have to be clear now, does it?
December 17

Why would I keep anything good from you?
I will not take anything from you.
December 18

I will not make anything difficult for you.
December 19

I have done this much for you. Trust.
December 21

Patience. I am at home with you.
December 22

I have plans for you, plans for your welfare.
Seek me with all your heart.
December 23

It is no mistake, your heart.
Your love is a worthy gift.
December 24

I am so proud of you.
December 25

This is a learning day.
December 26

I want you free.
January 1

Happy New Year!


Kimberly said...


Reading these is the first present of my birthday... humble thanks, friend... There are some that will find their way into my book, too. Dec. 15th especially...


John said...

Yes, the reassurance that no part of us will be lost is so surprising when it comes by itself, unbidden and -- as it were -- unchoreographed in prayer. God must expect that we need to hear that truth, though.

Happy birthday, friend! May no part of you ever be lost!

Anonymous said...

Dear Donald:

The Universe has given us a world full of children and a nightime full of warming, laughing stars. It's message is so simple we may miss it: Love is here, God is here in all of our everything. Thanks for the reminders...

Be well!

John said...

Thanks, Jim, for taking the time to read and comment. Your image of "a nighttime full of warming, laughing stars" is a compelling one and a healing one.